Vikings Creator Michael Hirst Boards Ibis Trilogy


Screenwriter Michael Hirst, who is behind the Oscar-winning historical film Elizabeth and TV series such as Vikings and The Tudors, has signed on to bring Amitav Ghosh’s The Ibis Trilogy novels to television.

Set in mid-19th-century Asia, the series begins in India and will interweave the lives of characters against the backdrop of the opium wars between Britain and China. Shekhar Kapur, the award-winning film director behind Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age as well as the Bollywood hit Bandit Queen, will direct the series.

The historical saga will be produced by Tiger Aspect in partnership with Endemol Shine India and DoveTale Media.

Lars Blomgren, head of scripted for EMEA at Endemol Shine Group, said: “Since Abhishek brought The Ibis Trilogy to our attention over a year ago, it’s been a joy to bring together a talented and passionate team—to supercharge this high-end, multi-layered journey. Michael Hirst has a distinctive writing style which appeals to a contemporary audience—and this paired with Shekhar’s vision—puts us in an excellent position to take a fully developed package to the global market in the new year.”

Hirst added: “It’s absolutely magic to be working with Shekhar Kapur once again to create a historic world of characters that the audience can universally connect with. The Ibis Trilogy is an extraordinary series of novels, which delivers the material to create an impressive, exciting and unique television series with both commercial and critical appeal. I’m thrilled to be working on this project which will take television drama into new worlds and new opportunities and will tell the story of the Opium Wars from an Indian and Chinese perspective.”

Abhishek Rege, CEO of Endemol Shine India, commented: “It is amazing to see such a talented team come together to visualize Amitav Gosh’s outstanding novel series. This was exactly what we had in mind when we first pursued the project, bringing the best talent from across the globe together to create a drama showing the intricacies of the characters and the era.”