Independent production giant Banijay‘s U.K. arm unveiled the acquisition of scripted producer The Forge, the company behind such dramas as Marriage, starring Sean Bean, Help, starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham, and Becoming Elizabeth.
Banijay lauded the company’s “well-established reputation for high-quality, ambitious and award-winning TV drama.” Financial details weren’t disclosed.
The Forge’s other successes have included the likes of National Treasure (Channel 4), The Miniaturist (BBC), Kiri (Channel 4) and Collateral (BBC).
Banijay also highlighted that The Forge currently has multiple, high-profile titles for linear and streaming platforms in production. They include eight-part series The Buccaneers for Apple TV+, due to launch globally Nov. 8, whose plot description says it revolves around “the daughters of America’s new rich — beautiful and untameable, despite the best efforts of England’s finest governesses, they are on their way to London to snare themselves an aristocrat, low in funds but high in class”; four-part Disney+ series Shardlake, a historical whodunit by Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom) due for a 2024 release; a factual drama about the Grenfell building disaster by Peter Kosminsky (Undeclared War, Government Inspector, Wolf Hall) for BBC One; and Generation Z, a six-part zombie apocalypse series that is the first original TV project from Ben Wheatley (The Meg II, Sightseers, Kill List), currently shooting for Channel 4.
The acquisition will “bolster Banijay U.K.’s scripted output” and bring the number of scripted labels under its umbrella to 11, including such labels as Kudos, Tiger Aspect and Wild Mercury, the firm said. The deal also includes a first-look deal for Banijay Rights.
“I have been a massive admirer of The Forge since its inception,” said Patrick Holland, CEO of Banijay U.K. “George Faber, Mark Pybus, Beth Willis and George Ormond have together grown one of the most ambitious and exciting drama slates in the U.K. With a commitment to the most distinctive authorship, a desire to make shows of the highest quality and a creative commitment to make drama that appeals to broad audiences, The Forge is an extraordinary group of talented producers.”
The Forge founder Faber said: “We’re ambitious for the next stage of our growth and we believe that Banijay’s superb distribution arm, production expertise, management team and global reach will help us chart an exciting path to the future.”
The Forge boasts an impressive slate of titles including National Treasure (C4), Ackley Bridge (C4), The Miniaturist (BBC), Kiri (C4), Help (C4), Marriage (BBC), Becoming Elizabeth (Starz), Collateral (BBC), Rules of the Game (BBC), Roadkill (BBC) and many more.