David Tennant to play Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days

DAVID TENNANT TO STAR AS LITERATURE’S GREATEST EXPLORER, PHILEAS FOGG, IN EPIC NEW DRAMA AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

Lead Cast Revealed for Much Anticipated Adaptation of Jules Verne Classic for France Télévisions, ZDF, Rai (The European Alliance) and Seven

Filming Starts February 2020 for Transmission Late Autumn 2020

London, December 4th 2019: David Tennant, one of television’s best known and loved actors, will be playing literature’s greatest explorer, Phileas Fogg, in an epic adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic, Around the World in 80 Days, it was revealed today.

The world renowned and multi-award winning actor whose credits include Broadchurch, Jessica Jones, Doctor Who and Good Omens, will lead the cast and travel the world as the intrepid explorer who takes on the adventure of a lifetime, in the Slim Film + Television and Federation’s 8 x 60’ adaptation.

Following an outrageous bet, Fogg and his valet, Passepartout, take on the legendary journey of circumnavigating the globe in just 80 days, swiftly joined by aspiring journalist Abigail Fix, who seizes the chance to report on this extraordinary story.

Joining Tennant to complete the valiant trio are rising French star, Ibrahim Koma (Je Suis Daddy, Mother is Wrong), who takes on the role of the mercurial Passepartout; an irrepressible chancer who falls into the role of Fogg’s ‘valet’, little knowing it will change his life forever; and Leonie Benesch (The Crown, White Ribbon) playing Abigail Fix, the young journalist determined to make her mark in a man’s world and emerge from the long shadow of her British establishment father.

The series, which is adapted by a team of renowned writers led by Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, The Living and the Dead) and Caleb Ranson (Child of Mine, Heartless), is a truly international drama with filming starting in February 2020 for transmission at the end of the year.

Film, television and music video director Steve Barron (The Durrells, Treasure Island, Dreamkeeper) will be lead director with Charles Beeson (The Mentalist, Supernatural) also lined up to direct a number of episodes. Executive producers are Simon Crawford Collins for Slim Film + Television and Lionel Uzan and Pascal Breton for Federation.

Crawford Collins said: “We are thrilled to have such a talent as David to play this modern take on the iconic role of Phileas Fogg. Bigger than the hair-raising physical challenges of the adventure – from the scorching heat of the desert to skulduggery in Hong Kong and of course strikes in Paris – will be Fogg’s personal journey.  I’m excited that viewers will also have the pleasure of watching the extraordinary talents of Leonie and Ibrahim in the roles of Fix and Passepartout, as they travel around the world. The series is full of adrenaline, heart and of course lots of fun, thanks to Ashley and our talented writing team. Viewers are in for something really special!” 

Breton added: “Jules Verne’s most well-known and well-loved novel is coming to life again thanks to a brilliant trio of European actors, led by the great David Tennant. Having such an incredible cast obviously has us thrilled to produce and distribute (with our partner Slim) the first major family series presented by the Alliance of top European broadcasters (FTV/ZDF/RAI).”

Nathalie Biancolli, EVP International Scripted, France Télévisions commented; “The Alliance is proud to work alongside European talents to develop such an exceptional adventure series around this major work of literature. Created in 2018 by France Televisions (France), RAI (Italy) and ZDF (Germany), The Alliance is a strategic production laboratory for public service broadcasters. The European Alliance reinforces an original and diversified creative strategy that promotes cultural diversity and European talent through ambitious high-end productions, which broaden the field of TV fiction and aim at international markets. The Alliance is currently developing seven new projects and also announced to focus on nonlinear demands.”

Around the World in Eighty Days is a Slim Film + Television and Federation co-production with additional co-production partners, Palladium Pictures in South Africa, and Daro Film, associate producer. France Télévisions introduced the project to their Alliance broadcasting partners; Germany’s ZDF and Italy’s RAI. Seven West Media are also backing the production and are broadcasting the drama in Australia.

Federation Entertainment will handle distribution rights to the series.