Germany’s FabFiction boards Lingo Pictures’ ‘The Messenger’

'The Messenger'. (Photo: Lingo Pictures/All3Media International)

Lingo Pictures’ eight-part drama The Messenger has found a German co-production partner in FabFiction – a scripted co-production initiative between ARD’s public broadcasters NDR, SWR and WDR.  

Based on Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel of the same name and commissioned by the ABC, The Messenger sees William McKenna star as Ed Kennedy – just another stupid human, until one day he isn’t.

One day, Kennedy stops an armed robbery and becomes an accidental hero. The next day, he starts getting messages… Four playing cards – the ace of diamonds, clubs, spades and hearts. Each with their own set of tasks. Who’s sending them? And what the hell is a hopeless, cab-driving guy like Ed meant to do with them?

Starring alongside McKenna are Maggie Dence, Alexandra Jensen, Chris Alosio and Kartanya Maynard.

Sarah Lambert led the writing team that included Kirsten Fisher, Kim Wilson and Magda Wozniak. Daniel Nettheim, Jennifer Leacey and Helena Brooks directed, while Jason Stephens and Elisa Argenzio produced.

Executive producers include Helen Bowden, Markus Zusak, Mika Zusak, Lambert and Nettheim, with Rebecca Anderson and Sally Riley from the ABC.

The deal with FabFiction was negotiated by All3Media International, led by All3Media International VP for Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland Jonathan Hughes and Frank Tönsmann (WDR) for the FabFiction-Initiative. 

The Messenger will be one of the first titles to join FabFiction’s slate, which is dedicated to investing in quality scripted content telling unique and innovative stories with the goal of supporting creative talent.   

The Messenger fits perfectly into our needs for non-linear content,” Tönsmann said.

“It tells the ageless story about young adults and their struggle for coming of age. Furthermore, it takes our audience to different places around the globe and it is a step into the future where we will collaborate more and more with partners all around the world.” 

Hughes added: “FabFiction’s emphasis on original, high-quality storytelling and creative empowerment opens up exciting new opportunities in the international co-pro market and makes them a perfect partner to bring this nuanced and compassionate story based on Markus Zusak’s bestselling novel to international audiences.” 

The Messenger received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC and was financed with support from Screen NSW. All3Media International is managing international sales.  

The Messenger will premiere on the ABC later this year.