FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) announced that The Drivers, the TV series based on the world surrounding the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the ’50s and ’60s, will be written by film and television screenwriter Michael Hirst.
The Drivers is based on the book, “Shelby: The Man, The Cars, the Legend” written by Wallace A. Wyss and optioned from Iconografix. It tells the true story of wild young drivers from the US, Germany, France, Italy and Britain, friends and rivals, amateurs risking everything for a shot on the tracks.
Hirst commented, “The Drivers is a large scale and challenging project that has huge appeal. I’m delighted to be working with production partners with an ambition to make world class drama, and FME who are the global leaders in distribution.”
Hirst attended the 24 Hours of Le Mans event this past weekend as part of his ongoing research into the project. His credits include the Academy Award and BAFTA Award-winning film Elizabeth as well as TV drama The Tudors which he created, executive produced and for which he wrote all 38 episodes.
Previously announced co-producers Ridley and Tony Scott (think Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, American Gangster) are still involved in the project. Ridley Scott commented, “I grew up in the North of England at a time when Stirling Moss was a hero. Everyone wanted to be a racing driver. This is a hugely ambitious project and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell the story of these iconic and legendary men who risked everything to win at Le Mans. It’s an epic story of courage and ambition and a history of racing which has never been told on such a grand scale.”
Scott Free Inc. was recently announced as co-producer of the program, alongside Headline Pictures and Sennet Entertainment. FME is funding the project as part of their global drama strategy to develop and package drama series for the international market.
David Ellender, Global CEO, FME said, “Our aim for The Drivers is to bring together the best in class of producers, writers, broadcasters, talent and more, and we’re ticking each of these boxes one by one. Michael was our top choice and we’re delighted to be working with him alongside Scott Free, Headline and Sennet.”
FME said that The Drivers is part of their plans to elevate its drama offering to finance and package English language European drama series for the U.S. market as well as the rest of the world.
[Source: FremantleMedia Enterprises; photo credit: Aston Martin]