4 October 2017

Continuing to grow its global high-end drama offering, FremantleMedia has struck a deal with the best-selling author, Robert Harris, to produce the TV adaptation of his latest novel, Munich. The international co-production between FremantleMedia’s Euston Films and UFA Fiction will be shot in the UK and Germany.

A breathtaking spy-thriller from the unsurpassable Robert Harris, Munich is about treason and conscience, loyalty and betrayal, filled with real-life characters – Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier – and events that changed history.

As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Führer’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own. Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again. When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?

Released by Hutchinson, an imprint of Penguin Random House, on 21st September, 2017 and sold in 20 languages so far, Munich debuted in the original fiction book sales chart at no. 2 after the first week of sales and received considerable praise from the critics, with the Guardian calling Munich ‘a tantalising addition to the inexhaustible game of “what if?’ and the Daily Telegraph hailing it as ‘a superb, compelling novel.’

Robert Harris said: “From my point of view, this is the perfect combination — an Anglo-German co-production of a story set in England and Germany, telling the story of an Englishman and a German struggling against the Nazis. From the moment I heard that Euston Films and UFA wanted to make it together, I knew my novel could not be in better hands.”

Kate Harwood, Managing Director, Euston Films added:  “As a long-time fan of Robert Harris’s epic and dramatic novels I am so proud that we have been entrusted with the rights to this superb book. I think Munich, with its thrilling yet forensic look at four days when the world held its breath, is destined to be a future classic. With our partners and sister company UFA, we are planning an international co-production of scale and ambition as a dual language drama which will shoot in the UK and Germany. A really exciting venture for us all.”

Nico Hofmann, CEO, UFA said: “Robert Harris is revered in Germany, and rightly so. No author in recent years is better than Robert at portraying German history as world history and attaining unprecedented levels of quality, suspense and drama in the process. Munich is an outstanding example of the kind of German-British coproduction that only Fremantle can deliver. I am confident that it will set new standards in narrative television and prove a fantastic production opportunity for both UFA and Euston Films.”

Robert Harris is the author of eleven bestselling novels: the Cicero Trilogy – Imperium, Lustrum and DictatorFatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, The Ghost, The Fear Index, and An Officer and a Spy, which won four prizes including the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, and Conclave. Several of his books have been filmed, including The Ghost, which was directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Munich is the latest title to join FremantleMedia’s roster of large scale, high-end drama series. In recent weeks, the global production and distribution powerhouse has secured a commission from BBC One for Euston Film’s The Dublin Murders which is drawn from Tana French’s first two novels In the Woods and the Likeness, and a six-episode series order from HISTORY for The Breach: Inside the Impeachment of Bill Clinton, based on the New York Times bestselling book from Peter Baker.

Published by Penguin Random House, the partnership for Munich marks the first deal between the Bertelsmann-owned publishers and FremantleMedia, itself part of the RTL Group, a division of Bertelsmann.