This afternoon Starz President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht announced that STARZ has picked up the supernatural spy thriller “The Rook,” produced by Lionsgate and Liberty Global. “The Rook” will be a new premium series executive produced by Twilight Saga creator Stephenie Meyer, with Stephen Garrett serving as showrunning Executive Producer. The announcement was part of Starz’s presentation to the Television Critics Association (TCA).
The series will air on the STARZ platform in the U.S. beginning next year. At the same time, Liberty Global will feature the series exclusively on demand across its footprint in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Lionsgate will distribute the series worldwide.
The series itself is a supernatural thriller about a young woman pursued by shadowy paranormal adversaries while grappling with extraordinary abilities of her own. The Rook is executive produced by Ms. Meyer (The Twilight Saga, Lionsgate’s upcoming Down A Dark Hall, Austenland and The Host) and producing partner Meghan Hibbett under their Fickle Fish production banner.
An accomplished producer in both television and film, Stephen Garrett will serve as showrunning Executive Producer under his Character 7 banner. Garrett most recently served as Executive Producer on the award-winning and ratings hit, The Night Manager. The Rook is adapted and co-produced by award-winning playwrights and screenwriters Sam Holcroft (Rules for Living) and Al Muriel (Precious & Rich) based on the novel by Daniel O’Malley ($10 at Amazon).
“A high-end series aimed right at the sweet spot of our audience, The Rook is a great addition to a STARZ slate loaded with the most exciting new and returning series offered by any platform anywhere,” said Albrecht. “We are thrilled to add the talents of Stephen Garrett and Stephenie Meyer to our creative family and forge our partnership with the Lionsgate Television Group and Liberty Global. The Rook is instantly addictive from the very first scene and introduces what we believe will be one of the most fascinating and thrilling female protagonists on television.”
“Stephenie is one of the world’s great creative talents, and Stephen has an incredible track record in bringing remarkable stories to the screen,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs and President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “The Rook is a major premium property driven by an amazing creative team, and it’s not only a terrific addition to the STARZ platform but the perfect series to launch a content alliance with our friends at Liberty Global.”
“The Rook is another important step in Liberty Global’s premium scripted content strategy. Shot in the UK, this project is a perfect fit for Virgin Media as well as our other European markets,” said Liberty Global chief programming officer Bruce Mann. “The series, which we look forward to making available exclusively to millions of Liberty Global subscribers worldwide, is an amazing supernatural thriller which we are excited to have in the hands of an elite creative showrunner like Stephen Garrett. We’re also delighted to be partnering with our good friends at Lionsgate and Starz.”
“Everything starts with great writing,” said Character 7’s Executive Chairman Stephen Garrett. “To be conspiring on The Rook in partnership with Stephenie based on a book that is as dazzling as it is surprising and working with the talented team of Sam and Al, is the perfect springboard for thrilling television. The teams at Lionsgate, Starz and Liberty Global are great champions of creativity, and we’re looking forward to partnering with them.”
The Rook tells the story of a young woman who wakes up in a London park suffering total amnesia – surrounded by dead bodies, all wearing latex gloves. Pursued by shadowy paranormal adversaries, grappling with peculiar ‘abilities’ of her own, she must fight to uncover her past, and resume her position at the head of Britain’s most secret (supernatural) service… before the traitors who stole her memory can finish what they started.
Ms. Meyer was the best-selling author of 2008 and 2009 in the U.S., selling over 29 million books in 2008 and another 26.5 million in 2009. USA Today named Ms. Meyer “Author of the Year” in 2008, noting that she swept the top four slots on the USA Today best-seller book list, something that no one else had done in 15 years. Ms. Meyer accomplished this feat again in 2009.