David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) will play explorer Phileas Fogg in a big-budgeted TV adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic Around the World in 80 Daysco-commissioned by the Seven Network.
Set to shoot in South Africa and Romania in February, the eight-part drama is from the UK-based Slim Film + Television, which is majority-owned by Seven West Media.
Following an outrageous bet, Fogg and his valet Passepartout (French actor Ibrahim Koma) embark in 1872 on the legendary journey of circumnavigating the globe in just 80 days.
They are joined by aspiring journalist Abigail Fix (The Crown’s Leonie Benesch), who seizes the chance to report on this extraordinary story.
Steve Barron (The Durrells) will be lead director with Charles Beeson (The Mentalist) lined up to direct a number of episodes. The writing team includes Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars) and Caleb Ranson (Child of Mine).
Budgeted at about €3 million ($4.7 million) per episode, the series was developed by Slim’s founder/managing director Simon Crawford Collins.
France’s Federation Entertainment will handle distribution rights to the drama which will air on the BBC in the UK, France Télévisions, Germany’s ZDF and Italy’s RAI.
The French company is also co-producing with Essential Media Group Aftermath, a cold case murder mystery created by writer-director Erin White.