Julian Fellowes has assembled a star team for The English Game, a new footballing drama for Netflix.
The Downton Abbey creator’s new series, announced last year, charts the origins of football and how those involved in its creation reached across the class divide to establish the game as the world’s most popular sport. The series is written, and executive produced by Fellowes and produced by 42 (Watership Down, Traitors).
As production startsin the UK, Netflix has confirmed the star team that Fellowes has assembled for the project, including Edward Holcroft (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Kevin Guthrie (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Dunkirk, Sunshine on Leith, The Terror), Charlotte Hope (The Spanish Princess, Les Misérables, Game of Thrones), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Watership Down), James Harkness (The Victim, Macbeth, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Darkest Hour), Niamh Walsh (Jamestown, Jekyll & Hyde), Gerard Kearns (The Mark of Cain, Looking For Eric, Last Kingdom, Shameless), Joncie Elmore (Downton Abbey, Shameless), Sam Keeley (Anthropoid), Daniel Ings (The Crown, Lovesick), Kate Dickie (Red Road, Prometheus), Henry Lloyd Hughes (Killing Eve, The Inbetweeners, Indian Summers), Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders, The Aftermath, The Crown), Ben Batt (Captain America: The First Avenger, Scott & Bailey), Sylvestra Le Touzel (Happy-Go-Lucky, The Death of Stalin), Harry Michell (Chubby Funny, Devils) and Anthony Andrews (The King’s Speech).
The series is directed by Birgitte Stærmose (The Spanish Princess, Darling ) and Tim Fywell (Happy Valley, Grantchester ) and produced by Rhonda Smith (Fresh Meat, Traitors).
As well as Fellowes. executive producers include Rory Aitken, Eleanor Moran and Ben Pugh for 42 and Eddie Charlton, plus Ben Vanstone as a co-executive producer.
The English Game is currently shooting in the UK and will launch on Netflix in 2020.
Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes to create football drama for Netflix
18th April 2018
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is heading to Netflix for his next series, a drama about the history of football.
Called The English Game, the six-part series will chart the invention of football and how those involved in its creation reached across the class divide to establish the game as the world’s most popular sport.
The show will be produced by 42 and written by Fellowes. He is no stranger to Netflix subscribers in the US, with Downton Abbey available to stream on the service until 2013. Since the ITV drama became a smash hit, he hasn’t rested on his laurels, also creating a Titanic miniseries in 2012. While that was met with negative reviews, he followed it with another ITV drama, based on Doctor Thorne, which was well received. Fellowes is also reportedly working on The Gilded Age, a drama for NBC set in 19th century New York.
The series was announced at an event in Rome today, with Netflix reinforcing its commitment to European and UK productions. Shows such as Dark (Germany), Suburra (Italy), Las Chicas del Cable (Spain) and Black Mirror (UK) have proved that Netflix’s content has the ability to resonate with consumers locally and globally. For instance, Dark, which debuted last December, generated unexpected fandom in countries such as Chile, Bangladesh and Canada, and, for every hour watched in Germany, nine hours were watched internationally.
“Our belief is that great storytelling transcends borders. When stories from different countries, languages and cultures find a worldwide platform where the only limitation is the creator’s imagination, then unique, yet universal, stories emerge that are embraced by a global audience,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix.
The English Game is one of 10 new European projects unveiled today, including seven series – Netflix’s first Dutch original (Netherlands), Mortel (France), The Wave (Germany), Luna Nera (Italy), La Casa de Papel Part 3 (Spain), The English Game (UK), Turn Up Charlie (UK) – a French docu-series and The Staircase (French production shot in the US), and the streaming giant’s first Italian movie, Rimetti a Noi i Nostri Debiti.
Sarandos added: “With over 100 European projects launching this year, we are committed to being a voice for European entertainment, giving passionate local content creators a worldwide platform to share their vision, and offering consumers around the world unique and diverse stories they can discover and enjoy, anywhere, anytime and at the same time, no matter their place or language of origin. And this is just the beginning of our journey.”