Rachel Weisz & Polly Stokes’ Astral Projection Signs First-Look Deal With Fremantle

Rachel Weisz and Polly Stokes are taking their slate to Fremantle.

The actor and producer pair’s indie producer, Astral Projection, has signed a first-look and development deal with the super-indie.

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This means Fremantle will be the home of Academy Award winner Weisz and former Film4 exec Stokes’ film and TV project for the next three years.

Astral Projection is best known for co-producing Prime Video’s six-part psychological thriller Dead Ringers. Weisz played both lead roles in Alice Birch’s gender-swapped reimagining of the 1988 David Cronenberg film.

British actress Weisz, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Constant Gardener in 2005 and a Laurence Olivier, launched Astral Projection with Stokes following a long-standing relationship between the pair. Their slate comprises films and TV projects, with Rebecca Servadio as Astral’s literary consultant.

For Fremantle, this marks a latest high profile development and first look deal. Agreements are already in place with Edward Berger and his Nine Hours label, Angelina Jolie, Johan Renck and Michael Parents’ Sinestra, Patrick Daly’s Caledonia Productions and Pablo Larraín’s Fabula. More recently, a development deal was struck with Krishnendu Majumdar and Richard Yee’s Alice & Jack producer Me+You Productions.

It also has ongoing collaborations with writers and directors such as Luca Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino and Michael Winterbottom, and last week secured a co-production deal with former Fremantle Italy label bosses Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani and their new indie production house.

The Astral Projection deal was led by Fremantle CEO of Global Drama Christian Vesper and COO of Global Drama Seb Shorr, with VP Legal and Business Affairs Global Drama Fran Denny negotiating the agreement with James Kay and Jessica Hudson for Sheridans, which was acting on behalf of Weisz and Stokes.

“We are thrilled to have found such experienced and trusting partners in Fremantle,” said Weisz. “As soon as we met Christian and Seb, we knew they were a perfect fit for our taste and energy and that this would be a brilliant home for Astral.”

Stokes added that Astral Project would look to “tell stories that are surprising and affirming — that find joy in unexpected and daring places.”

“We’ve been admirers of Polly and Rachel’s careers for some time,” said Vesper. “The breadth, scale and acclaim of their combined body of work across both television and film is truly impressive and I’ve no doubt this is going to be a fruitful and exciting partnership. I couldn’t be happier to welcome them to the Fremantle family and start collaborating on world class projects together.”

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