London, England – August 24, 2016 – It was revealed today that Catalyst Global Media, the multifaceted television and film production company led by Charlotte Walls has optioned Frances Hardinge’s award-winning novel “Cuckoo Song” to adapt as a special event TV mini-series.
A poignant coming-of-age story about a young girl wrestling with her identity and place in the world, “Cuckoo Song” is the first YA work to win the British Fantasy Awards’ top prize and was shortlisted for both the Carnegie Medal (for children) and the James Herbert Award (for horror). The compelling family fantasy, set in 1920s England, follows the story of a young girl whose world is turned upside down when she finds herself eerily altered, and unearths a magical folklore world as she embarks on a quest to repair a broken family still haunted by the events of WW1.
Catalyst will produce “Cuckoo Song” as a 4×60 event piece.
Said Charlotte Walls, “We are thrilled to be adapting the rich and fantastical world that Frances has so vividly created. This astounding story has universal themes that will resonate with children and parents of all ages and make for a great communal viewing experience.”
“Needless to say, this is very exciting,” said Frances Hardinge. “It’s been a lot of fun exploring ideas with the Catalyst team and its reassuring to know we’re all on the same page with the TV adaption.
Frances Hardinge won the 2015 Costa Book Award for “The Lie Tree”, becoming the first children’s author to pick up the main prize since Phillip Pullman in 2001. Her book was only the second children’s book to win the prestigious award.
The option deal for ‘Cuckoo Song” was negotiated by Emily Hayward Whitlock at The Artists Partnership in association with Nancy Miles at the Miles Stott Children’s Literary Agency.
Since launching just over a year ago, Catalyst has steadily put together a robust slate of film, TV and digital projects. On the TV side, the company most recently partnered with John Woo (“Mission Impossible II,” “Face/Off,” “Paycheck”) to produce a new original scripted television series titled “Cognition” – a neo-noir crime thriller covering two serial killer investigations set in two very stylistically contrasting worlds — the vast and desolate lands of America’s declining mid-west, and the thriving and overpopulated streets of the Far East.
Catalyst also executive produced “Peter & Wendy” based on the novel Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, written by the BAFTA-winning writer Adrian Hodges (‘My Week With Marilyn’) and starring Academy Award®-nominated actor Stanley Tucci and international pop star Paloma Faith as Tinkerbell.
On the film side, Catalyst has a partnership with Warner Music, one of the world’s largest record labels, to identify and develop a slate of feature biopics and documentaries based on Warner Music’s artists. The multi-year, multi-picture arrangement explores Warner Music’s extensive catalog and is expected to result in a number of new accounts of some of the most iconic artists of all time.
With the surge in production activity, Catalyst recently hired Development Executive Chris Farrer (previously at Carnival Films, Company Pictures and BBC) and Development and Production Coordinator Emily Barttelot who previously at Ecosse Films and production work with “Big Talk.”
About Catalyst Global Media
Headquartered in London, Catalyst is a hybrid, multifaceted film and television financing and production company making high-end, mainstream films and TV series for the global marketplace. Seasoned entertainment executive Charlotte Walls is co-founder of Catalyst and runs the company as its CEO. Al Hardiman and Gideon Lyons are co-founders with Walls and serve as principal partners. Catalyst operates with a mandate to serve as a top-tier supplier of commercially viable projects for the studios, networks, digital platforms and major independent distributors worldwide.
Catalyst develops/finances/produces four to six projects a year across feature films and digital/television series. Budget ranges will vary depending on the size and scope of the individual projects.