Amazon has acquired the U.S. rights to the historical drama series “Britannia.” It will premiere on the Sky 1 in the U.K. and Ireland and on Prime Video in the U.S. in 2017.
Set in 43 A.D., the series follows the Roman Imperial Army as it returns to conquer the British Isles, described in a press release as “a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and powerful Druids who can channel the powerful forces of the underworld.”
Created by Jez Butterworth (“Jerusalem,” “Spectre”), “Britannia” stars Kelly Reilly (“True Detective,” “Sherlock Holmes”), David Morrissey (“The Walking Dead,” “The Hollow Crown”) and Zoe Wanamaker (“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” “My Family)”.
The series is being shot largely in the Czech Republic, with a limited amount of location work in Scotland and Wales.
“We’re building a Celtic world that is slightly heightened,” said the show’s production designer Tom Burton, who constructed Celtic villages, Roman catapults and a recreation of Stonehenge for the series. “Who knews what Celtic castles looked like in 43 A.D.? We’re taking a bit of license in a ‘Game of Thrones’ fantasy sort of way.”
“Britannia” is produced by Rick McCallum (the “Star Wars” prequels) and executive produced by Vertigo Films’ James Richardson (“Monsters,” “Bronson”) with Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown from Neal Street Productions (“Penny Dreadful,” “Call the Midwife”) and Anne Thomopolous (“Rome,” “Band of Brothers”). The series is written by Jez and Tom Butterworth (“Fortitude,” “Tin Star”) with Richard McBrien (“Spooks,” “Merlin”).
“This is one of the most ambitious dramas we’ve ever made and one of the most exciting,” said Anne Mensah, Sky’s head of drama, in a statement. “Jez Butterworth has written an incredible drama that is entertaining and emotional but also asks important questions about what drives men and women to stand and fight; this is a battle for the heart of Britain like you’ve never seen before.”
Sky Vision, Sky’s international production and distribution arm, is handling international distribution rights (outside of the U.S.) for “Britannia.” WME and Sky Vision negotiated the deal with Amazon.