Continuing to carve out a larger position in the original series space, Starz has acquired the rights to the period drama series, The White Queen.
Set against the backdrop of England's War of the Roses, the 10-episode series is being adapted from from Philippa Gregory's bestselling historical novels The White Queen,The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter.
Starz has secured all U.S. domestic and worldwide multiplatform distribution rights to The White Queen from ALL3Media. Financial terms were not disclosed as Starz retains all global rights, with the exception of TV in the UK, where the series will air on BBC One, and some TV/home video rights in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The drama is set to premiere on the premium channel -- which is currently airing the second season of Kelsey Grammer-political show Boss and will launch pirate skein Black Sails from Michael Bay and Jon Steinberg in 2014 -- during 2013, when it will also bow the final installment of its Spartacus franchise, War of the Damned, Da Vinci's Demons with BBC World Productions and the sophomore run of 1950s Miami hotel tale Magic City.
Colin Callender, who is working as executive producer of Magic City through his company Playground, Entertainment, will serve in a similar capacity on The White Queen, as part of a larger two-year deal. The White Queen is produced by Company Pictures (Generation Kill, Shameless, Skins) and adapted by Emma Frost (Consuming Passions, Shameless).
"Phillipa Gregory's novels have become runaway best sellers with passionate fans the world over, making this a project ripe for reimagining," said Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of original programming, for Starz, LLC, in a statement. "The period of England's Wars of the Roses makes for a sensational historical backdrop as a time fraught with violence, mystery and intrigue. We are excited to be working with an incredibly talented team, both in front and behind the camera, that is taking on such an ambitious project and bringing this riveting story to life."
Noted Starz LLC CEO Chris Albrecht: "Carmi and I have worked with Colin for many years, and we are excited to have such a world-class movie and television visionary lending his talents to our Starz series." The trio worked together during their tenures at HBO.
The story begins in 1464 and England already has been at war for nine years battling over who is its rightful king, the contest waged between two sides of the same family, The House of York and The House of Lancaster.
The House of York's young and handsome Edward IV (Max Irons, Red Riding Hood) is crowned with the help of the master manipulator Lord Warwick, "The Kingmaker" (James Frain, True Blood, The Tudors). But when Edward falls in love and secretly marries beautiful young widow and commoner Elizabeth Woodville (newcomer Rebecca Ferguson), Warwick's plan for control over the throne collapses. Frustrated by the new queen's influence he will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on Edward VI.
Elizabeth's fiercest adversary is the staunchly loyal Lancastrian Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale,The Crimson Petal & The White) - a damaged and highly religious woman who would willingly lay down her life to see her young son Henry Tudor take the throne.
Meanwhile, Anne Neville (newcomer Faye Marsay),Lord Warwick's daughter is a pawn in her father's battle for control, but finds her strength and ambition when she takes control of her destiny and marries the King's younger brother Richard Duke of York (Aneurin Bernard, Ironclad, Spring Awakening).