Formula 1’s ever-increasing mass media output now includes another project under its umbrella.
While the championship is cooperating in the development and filming of the Apple Studios F1-themed movie produced by, among others, seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, the series itself will now also co-produce a fiction television show.
As unveiled in Hollywood industry outlet Deadline, what is described as F1’s “first officially-sanctioned scripted series” will be titled One.
It will aim to “bring the glamorous, high-pressure and competitive inner workings of the world of Formula 1 to life for audiences across the globe,” according to Isabelle Stewart, who joined F1 as head of original content last year.
As per Deadline, the show “will focus on the tumultuous ascension of a fictitious family-owned Formula 1 team” – perhaps modelled after the previously family-owned Williams outfit? – “as it contends with fierce personalities, ever-changing rivals, and multi-million-dollar stakes”.
It is also claimed it “will blend fiction with the real world of F1”, although it is not specified whether that will entail in-the-paddock and on-track filming like in the case of the Apple movie.
A single name has been attached to the cast so far in Felicity Jones, who is also among the producers.
The 39-year-old English actress was an Academy Award Best Actress nominee back in 2014 for an acclaimed performance in the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything, in which she played Hawking’s ex-wife Jane.
She also had parts in major franchise movies – the Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dan Brown adaptation Inferno and, most famously, Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, where she had the lead role.
Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have been named as “writers and exec producers”, suggesting they may act as showrunners.
The tandem are Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nominees for their part in 2006’s Children of Men – widely regarded as an Alfonso Cuaron action masterpiece, and famously an inspiration for the current multi-media hit franchise The Last of Us.
Fergus and Ostby are two of five credited writers on the movie, an adaptation of a P. D. James novel.
They are also credited writers on Jon Favreau’s Iron Man – the 2008 mega-hit that effectively kickstarted the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe – and were also involved in another, much less successful Favreau project in 2011’s Cowboys & Aliens.
Most pertinently, though, they were showrunners on the acclaimed sci-fi TV show The Expanse, which ran for six seasons – first on American cable channel Syfy and then on Amazon Prime Video.
The production company involved is the relatively new Bedrock Entertainment, which is a joint project between British television giant ITV’s American arm and producers/directors Daniel Sackheim and Tony To.
Sackheim has an incredibly extensive resume as director and producer on various TV shows, including Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The X-Files and House.
To, meanwhile, is best known for producing – and directing an episode of – iconic World War 2 miniseries Band of Brothers, and more recently held roles at Disney/Lucasfilm.