Sony Pictures Entertainment Teams With U.K. Newspaper The Guardian to Mine Journalism Content for Adaptation

Sony Pictures Entertainment Teams With U.K. Newspaper The Guardian to Mine Journalism Content for Adaptation

Movies, News

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and U.K. news media organisation Guardian Media Group, which publishes the left-leaning The Guardian newspaper, have revealed a strategic creative collaboration.

The agreement will see SPE gain exclusive first rights to all of the Guardian’s global journalism, with the aim of developing suitable materials for audio-visual adaptation. The deal spans the whole of SPE’s television production groups, including U.S. scripted and nonfiction television divisions, to international production. The latter includes scripted companies Left Bank Pictures (“The Crown”) , Bad Wolf (“His Dark Materials”) and Eleven (“Sex Education”) and unscripted, sport and factual entertainment producers like The Whisper Group. The agreement also spans SPE’s feature film division, which includes the 3000 Pictures, Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures and Screen Gems labels.

All these SPE entities will have access to the Guardian’s current and developing news stories, and to the Guardian archive, containing 200 years of history across articles, blogs, columns, videos and podcasts.

The Guardian group won the best documentary short Oscar for “Colette” in 2021, following a nomination in the same category for “Black Sheep” in 2019. In addition to recent deals with the BBC, Netflix and Sky, they have a slate of other projects in development in the U.K. and U.S., and three option deals with SPE that will launch the new collaboration and will be revealed imminently.

The agreement, brokered by Curtis Brown, will be overseen by a new executive team appointed by SPE and the Guardian, developing content jointly and drawing on unique collaboration with the Guardian’s journalists and contributors.

Keith Underwood, chief financial and operating officer of Guardian Media Group said: “Guardian journalism has a well-established track record in this space, with Oscar and BAFTA award-winning output over recent years. Sony Pictures Entertainment brings industry-leading development, production and distribution expertise on a global scale, and this agreement reflects our mutual commitment and shared passion to bring more Guardian journalism to screen”.

Wayne Garvie, president, international production, Sony Pictures Television, added: “To be able to draw on The Guardian’s extraordinary journalism, past, present and future, to create a new generation of dramas, documentaries and movies, is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us at Sony Pictures. We are continually seeking stories that have a distinctive and creative spirit, and connect with audiences the world over, and the Guardian team certainly brings those qualities through their top-notch journalism.”

Elizabeth Gabler, president, 3000 Pictures, said: “The scope for this collaboration across feature film as well as television really speaks to the huge breadth of potential and reach of this deal. The Guardian has an esteemed history of great journalism, and with ‘Colette’ and ‘Black Sheep’ they have garnered huge acclaim for their documentary feature output. We are proud they want to work with Sony Pictures as they continue to move into this space, and we can’t wait to start developing projects with them.”


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