Screentime has acquired the rights to Peter FitzSimons’ bestseller Batavia, to be produced as a six-hour miniseries.
Based on the historical events of 1629 when a Dutch merchant ship foundered off the coast of Western Australia, Batavia combines sea-faring adventure, the battle of good versus evil, mutiny, ship-wreck, love, lust, criminality, a reign of terror, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue and the birth of the world’s first corporation.
In making the announcement Executive Chairman of Screentime, Des Monaghan said: “I am delighted that we have been successful inacquiring the rights to Batavia. Peter FitzSimons has brought to vivid life this truly extraordinary chapter in Australia’s history. The book deserves its best seller status and we look forward to bringing it to the screen as a big budget major television event.”
Describing it as “an Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies, meets Nightmare on Elm Street” author PeterFitzSimons’ said: “Batavia is far and away the greatest story in Australia’s history, if not the world’s. I have received hundreds of emails from people who’ve read it, asking ‘when is it coming to the screen?’ and now I have an answer. And I couldn’t be more pleased that Screentime is doing it. I have loved their Underbelly series, and thought their treatment of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet was as good as it gets.”
No broadcaster has been announced yet.