Audible, Vespucci and Big Light Productions (“The Man in the High Castle”, “Leonardo”)today announced a new partnership to develop and produce a series of fiction and non-fiction Audible Original podcasts covering or inspired by real crime events. Award-winning producer and writer, Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files”, “Medici”) will serve as creative lead across the development slate and executive produce alongside Big Light Productions’ Emily Feller (“Medici”, “Last Tango in Halifax”) while Vespucci will provide stories incubated via their extensive consortium of journalists.
Two original series are already greenlit for delivery, the first planned to launch on Audible later in 2021. The first is a scripted drama, Mask of Sanity, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) who will co-produce under his Ill Kippers Productions banner, with partner, co-founder and series writer, Joe Derrick. Ill Kippers’ Vice President, Jeffrey Chassen will also serve as co-producer. Based on a true story by Bulgarian journalist, Dimiter Kenarov, Mask of Sanity follows the compelling story of a journalist reporting on a serial killer, but with a secret of his own. Also underway is Killer Book Club, a documentary true crime thriller exploring the much-covered case of British private school teacher and novelist Peter Farquhar who was murdered by church warden Benjamin Field, his much younger lover and former student. The series is created by Gillian Pachter (“The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story”) and Julia Nottingham (“XY Chelsea”) and her production company Dorothy St Pictures. A number of further scripted and unscripted series are also in development as part of the overall deal.
This collaboration marks the first time Big Light Productions has ventured into podcasts. The production company has built a reputation for delivering compelling, richly textured, and epic storytelling – making the unbelievable believable – and this thread will continue through the new stories and wider development slate. Prior to collaborating with Audible, Vespucci has formed podcast partnerships with Spotify, Cadence13, Topic Studios, Blumhouse and Imperative Entertainment.Peter Sale, Vespucci’s Head of Podcasts, will oversee the podcast productions, alongside Matt Willis, Vespucci’s Head of Content, and Thomas Curry.