BBC Worldwide Reaches Co-Production Deal Between Ovation and Sprout for "Doors Open"
Based on Art Crime Novel by Ian Rankin, Doors Open Stars Stephen Fry and Dougie Henshall
SANTA MONICA, CA -- September 10, 2012 Ovation, the only multi-platform network celebrating art, artists and all forms of artistic story-telling, is announcing its first co-production deal with BBC Worldwide Americas for the television feature Doors Open starring Douglas Henshall and Stephen Fry. Produced by Stephen Fry's Sprout Pictures for ITV-1 in association with Ovation, the movie will premiere in the US during the first quarter of 2013.
Based on a 2008 novel by crime writer Ian Rankin, Doors Open is the story of a self-made millionaire, an art professor and a banker who come together to undertake an audacious art heist.
"Doors Open is a complex, fun script with many twists and turns," said Kris Slava. "Dougie Henshall leads a first-class cast, and of course, we're huge fans of Stephen Fry - he brings intelligence and sparkle to everything he touches. The art theme lands this film squarely within Ovation's wheelhouse, but what really sold us on the project was the script. Based on one of Ian Rankin's non-Rebus novels, it's both a fast-paced art caper, and a good love story. It will play well to a U.S. audience, and we are delighted to be a part of it."
Matt Forde, EVP Sales and Co-productions at BBC Worldwide Americas, said, "This co-production deal was a terrific opportunity for us to bring an innovative network and an acclaimed producer together on a great project. With its riveting storyline and star cast, Doors Open is sure to thrill audiences in the U.S."
Set in Edinburgh, Scotland's world of corporate banking and fine art, the film stars Dougie Henshall (Collision, Primeval, The Silence) as Mike Mackenzie, a self-made businessman with too much time on his hands. Bored by the comfort of his millions and grieving for the woman who walked out on him five years previously, he's got an adventurous side just waiting to get him into trouble. When the love of his life, Laura Stanton, art consultant and auctioneer, returns to Edinburgh, his whole world is turned upside down and he'd risk anything to get her back.
After an evening's drinking with close friends, art expert Professor Gissing, played by Stephen Fry (Kingdom, Bones, Sherlock Holmes, The Hobbit) and banker Allan Cruickshank (Kenneth Collard), Mike dreams up a plot to rip off one of the most high-profile targets in the country - Edinburgh's private art collection owned by a national bank. Incensed by wealthy patrons hiding works of art away in private collections, the trio devises a plan to swap priceless masterpieces stored in the gallery's warehouse with brilliantly accurate forgeries.
Fortuitously, Edinburgh's buildings of special interest are open to the public for a single day under the 'Doors Open' scheme. It's the nation's celebration of public access, the perfect opportunity for these three to pull off the perfect art heist and for Mike it's too good a challenge to pass up. It might just help him to get Laura back into his life.
Mike enlists the help of Charlie Calloway, an old school friend and small time gangster, to beef up their criminal know-how, but Charlie's involvement comes at a price: he brings the unwelcome attention of some less-than-friendly outlandish gangsters. By the time the gallery warehouse doors are flung open to the public, there's no going back.
Doors Open has been adapted from Ian Rankin's novel by James Mavor and Sandi Toksvig. Marc Evans (Collision, Hunky Dory) is directing, Jon Finn (Billy Elliot, My Little Eye) is producing and Executive Producers are Sprout Pictures' Managing Director Gina Carter, Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig. The Creative Producer is Pip Broughton and Head of Production is Zoe Rocha.
BBC Worldwide will distribute Doors Open internationally.