London/Canada, November 29th, 2021: Incendo and BlackBox Multimedia today announce they have optioned the TV adaption rights to the Ellery Queen collection of novels and short stories. BlackBox Multimedia and Incendo will co-develop and co-produce a high-end scripted series together.
Ellery Queen, the lead detective hero of the novel series as well as the pseudonym used by the books’ authors, cousins Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, is one of the most popular American mystery novel series ever published. The books remain huge international bestsellers and have also established a massive fanbase in territories such as China.
Recognised as one of the leading examples of the “fair play” genre of literature, the stories follow Ellery Queen in intricate plots where the reader discovers clues and hints hidden in the story at the same time as the eponymous detective does. The novels are peppered with a range of obvious and less-so culprits, red herrings, and multiple mis-directions to keep audiences guessing.
Shifting the setting of the stories to the modern day, the television series will be adapted to a contemporary world, and the lead role will be cast as a female detective rather than a male as is in the novels. Further announcements on the casting will be made in the new year.
The Estate of Ellery Queen is represented by Jabberwocky Literary Agency.
Giuliano Papadia, CEO and Creative Director at BlackBox Multimedia says “Ellery Queen is one of the most definitive series of detective fiction to ever be written. The stories have been global favourites for a huge part of the 20th and 21st Centuries. They have fascinating plots, unique characters, and settings you love to get lost in. The team at Incendo are the perfect partners for helping modernise this excellent and timeless series of stories.”
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop a new series, based off an already established, globally successful IP,” added Gavin Reardon, International Sales & Co-Production Executive. “In collaborating with the creative minds at BlackBox Multimedia, we are eager to discover the reimagined version of the novels come to life on screens around the world.”
Richard Dannay and Rand B. Lee of Jabberwocky Literary Agency said “When our fathers first sat down to begin the collaboration that would become Ellery Queen, they never would have dreamed that they would then embark on a forty-year journey together, or imagined the remarkable success that Ellery Queen would attain. All of us in the Lee and Dannay families are thrilled to be working with BBMM and Incendo, which have both been so respectful and admiring of the rich Ellery Queen tradition, in crafting a new chapter on the screen for our shared legacy.”
Incendo is a Canadian company that specializes in the production and international distribution of high-quality television programming for the worldwide marketplace. Since its inception in 2001, the company has produced compelling movies, television series as well as documentaries that have been sold throughout the world. Incendo is the leading television distribution company in Canada and also handles theatrical distribution in Québec for Paramount Pictures. For more information, visit www.incendo.ca.
About BlackBox Multimedia
BlackBox Multimedia is an international production company designed to spearhead the contemporary global scripted content revolution. The company was founded by Guy Avshalom (former COO of Lionsgate UK), and is led by CEO Giuliano Papadia (former programming director at Fox Network Groups Europe). With offices in London, Rome and Madrid, BlackBox focuses on high end international scripted content, developing and producing in multiple languages returnable and limited event content for the global market, based on award-winning IPs with A-list talent and partners.
About Ellery Queen
Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee created the first Ellery Queen novel for a writing contest, and their creation went on to become one of the most enduring characters in mystery fiction, with over eighty novels and short story collections (half featuring the Ellery Queen character), millions of copies sold, and adaptations into radio plays, film, television, comic books, and live stage. Noted mystery critic Anthony Boucher said “Ellery Queen is the American detective story,” and noted mystery expert and publisher Otto Penzler observed that “Queen clearly is, after Poe, the most important American in mystery fiction.” Ellery Queen was the founding editor of the critically acclaimed Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, which just entered its 81st year of publication. In 1960, the Mystery Writers of America awarded Ellery Queen with the prestigious Grand Master honor.
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