Vikings and The Tudors creator Michael Hirst has teamed with Sherlock producer Hartswood Films and Wild Bunch TV to remake Doctor Zhivago.
Hirst is adapting Boris Pasternak’s classic novel for TV as an eight-part series. It is being produced by British indie Hartswood Films, which is producing forthcoming BBC drama Dracula, and Bryncoed Productions. French outfit Wild Bunch TV is distributing and will be talking to broadcasters at Mip.
In the epic tale of love, war and revolution, Hirst will bring Pasternak’s book to screen depicting the drama and immense scope of the Russian Revolution through the story of the gifted physician-poet, Zhivago; the revolutionary, Strelnikov; and Lara, the passionate woman they both love. Caught up in the overwhelming events of politics and war that will eventually destroy him and millions of others, Zhivago clings to the private world of family life and love, embodied by the magical Lara.
It was famously adapted into a 1965 feature film by David Lean starring Omar Sharif and War and Peace writer Andrew also adapted it in 2002 as a miniseries for ITV with Sam Neill and Keira Knightley.
The series will be exec produced by Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue and Foz Allan. There is no broadcaster on board as yet.
Hirst said, “There are many people in the world today who are suffering as a consequence of wars, revolutions and societal disintegration. This project pushes the boundaries of the movie and will embrace the larger story of Dr Zhivago’s own journey into the vortex of revolution; and it deliberately connects more with events today, from Latin America to the streets of Paris.”