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Lionsgate Names Academy Award® Winning Writer Neil Jordan to Adapt Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Best Seller “Jerusalem” for Television

Lionsgate Names Academy Award® Winning Writer Neil Jordan to Adapt Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Best Seller “Jerusalem” for Television

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. London, Monday 26th February 2018 — Lionsgate Television UK announced today that iconic award-winning writer Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Mona Lisa, End of the Affair) will adapt Jerusalem into a major television series based on the #1 UK non-fiction bestseller from acclaimed novelist and historian Simon Sebag Montefiore.

As previously announced, Montefiore will act as consultant and executive producer alongside Lionsgate, using his vast and intimate knowledge of the subject to help shape and guide the series.  Lionsgate will produce and sell global rights, including the U.S. and UK, to a series that will be a character-driven, action-filled account of war, betrayal, faith, fanaticism, slaughter, persecution and co-existence in the universal city through the ages.

Steve November, Creative Director UK Television commented, “Neil’s calibre and experience makes him a perfect fit for the material. I couldn’t have hoped for anyone more suited to the job to attach themselves to this exciting project”.

“We’re thrilled to add an elite talent of Neil Jordan’s magnitude to our world-class creative team on Jerusalem,” said Lionsgate Executive Vice President and Head of Worldwide Scripted Television Chris Selak.  “We’re assembling all the key elements to make Jerusalem a blockbuster series for a truly global audience, and it reflects the quality, excitement, and significance of the slate of event properties that we’re developing in our Lionsgate UK television business.”

“I am delighted that Neil Jordan is writing and developing an exciting narrative TV drama series from my Jerusalem book. I have always been an admirer of Neil’s films. I am so happy to be working with a great company like Lionsgate and Neil in bringing Jerusalem to the screen” comments Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Neil Jordan added, “I can’t think of better partners than Lionsgate and Simon to realise the scope and ambition of Jerusalem for today’s global TV audiences. It is an honour and a privilege to come on board.”

Jerusalem is one of a growing number of high-profile projects that have recently been added to Lionsgate’s UK television slate. The Company has announced plans to develop Kidulthood for television in collaboration with creator Noel Clarke’s Unstoppable and has also invested in production companies Primal Media, Potboiler Television, Bonafide Films and Kindle Entertainment.  Lionsgate UK also co-financed the hit Channel 4 comedy Damned and partnered with the BBC on Motherland, the sensational Sharon Horgan comedy.

Lionsgate operates one of the largest independent television businesses in the world with a U.S. slate encompassing nearly 90 series on 40 different networks, including the ground-breaking Orange is the New Black, fan favourite Nashville, Casual, The Royals, Greenleaf, Dear White People and Step Up: High Water, the television adaptation of the hit Lionsgate dance film franchise, along with upcoming series The Rook, The Kingkiller Chronicle and the John Wick television series spin-off The Continental.


Neil Jordan is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Limited and CAA.


For further information please contact:

Lorna Mann


The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world.  In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies.  Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a 16,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.


Simon Sebag Montefiore is the bestselling writer whose books are published in 48 languages. He has won prizes in both fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of histories like Stalin: the Court of the Red Tsar,  Young Stalin,  Jerusalem: the Biography, and The Romanovs.  He is the author of the Moscow Trilogy of novels,  Sashenka, Red Sky at Noon, and One Night in Winter;  and  (with Santa Montefiore) the childrens’ series Royal Rabbits of London. Many of his books are now being developed as films/tv dramas including Catherine the Great + Potemkin optioned by Angelina Jolie; and Royal Rabbits of London optioned by 20th Century Fox.


Born in 1950 in Sligo, Ireland, Neil Jordan began his career as a writer. His first book of stories, Night In Tunisia (1976) won the Guardian Fiction prize.  Since then he has published seven novels, The Past (1979), The Dream Of A Beast (1983), Sunrise With Seamonster (1994), Shade (2005), Mistaken (2011), The Drowned Detective (2015), and Carnivalesque (2017). In 1982 Jordan wrote and directed his first feature film Angel and has written, directed and produced more than fifteen films, including Company of Wolves (1984), Mona Lisa (1986), The Crying Game (1992), Interview With The Vampire (1994), Michael Collins (1995), The Butcher Boy (1996), The End Of The Affair (1999), In Dreams (1999), Breakfast On Pluto (2005), Ondine (2009), and Byzantium (2013). Neil Jordan has also written, directed and produced the television series The Borgias, with Octagon Films, and Showtime.  His films have been honoured with numerous awards worldwide, including an Oscar (Best Original Screenplay), BAFTAs, Golden Globes, A Golden Lion from The Venice Film Festival and a Silver Bear from Berlin.