The eight-part series tells the true tale of the shipwrecking of the Batavia on her maiden voyage to Australia in 1629 and the the subsequent mutiny and massacre that took place among the survivors.
The saga written by Peter FitzSimons was originally due to air this year, but didn’t warrant a mention at TEN’s recent 2014 Upfronts.
However yesterday a TEN spokesperson told TV Tonight the good news.
“Batavia is due to set sail into production in mid-2014. Screentime and TEN are in advanced discussions re key crew and casting,” they said.
Network TEN Head of Drama, Rick Maier added, “Getting both the creative and financial elements right has always been our priority on this incredibly ambitious project. Screentime’s commitment – in finding the right commercial partners – has been exceptional and the scripts are just brilliant. We can’t wait to get under sail.”
Screentime’s Des Monaghan recently told the Screen Forever Conference, “We have a project where we’re trying to get $8m offshore to complete it and we’ve got $6m. I hope this week to get the final $2m, at the end of something like an 18 month process. Thankfully for us the network that we’re with in Australia has been fantastically supportive and have stayed with us and accepted this is a difficult process.”
Whether the project will air in 2014 or 2015 is yet to be confirmed.
TEN’s drama slate continues to lead the network with Offspring, Puberty Blues, Secrets and Lies, Party Tricks, Wonderland and Neighbours all coming in 2014.
Screentime also optioned another FitzSimons novel, Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution, for mini series adaptation in 2012.