FabFiction Boards Australian Drama The Messenger


FabFiction, a scripted co-production initiative between ARD’s public broadcasters NDR, SWR and WDR, has boarded Lingo Pictures’ The Messenger.

Based on Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel of the same name, the drama follows a man who becomes an accidental hero and starts receiving messages that assign him tasks. It was commissioned by ABC Australia and is being distributed by All3Media International.

The Messenger has reunited Lambs of God creatives writer Sarah Lambert and producers Jason Stephens (Upright) and Elisa Argenzio (New Gold Mountain). Directors are Daniel Nettheim (The Tourist), Helen Brooks (The Brokenwood Mysteries) and Jennifer Leacey (The Secrets She Keeps). It has received major production investment from Screen Australia and support from Screen NSW.

“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 best-selling novel to international audiences,” said Jonathan Hughes, VP of Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland at All3Media International.

The Messenger fits perfectly into our needs for nonlinear content,” noted Frank Tönsmann of WDR/FabFiction. “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.”

Lingo Pictures’ producer, Stephens, said, “It has been a delight to work with Markus Zusak and with our partners, the ABC, All3Media International and FabFiction, to bring this award-winning and internationally acclaimed book to screen, and we cannot wait to share it with the rest of the world.”

Sally Riley, head of drama, entertainment and indigenous at ABC Australia, added, “From the moment we first read this, we knew it was something we had to make. We fell in love with these characters, the world and its thematic beating heart. There’s a reason Markus Zusak’s novel is an international bestseller, and Lingo Pictures handled the material with so much care and respect. It is a rare joy to find a series like this, and it’s one we feel our audiences are desperately craving given the state of the world today.”