Sony Pictures Television International Chief Wayne Garvie: ‘We Want to Be the Biggest Drama Studio in Britain’

Sony Pictures Television International Chief Wayne
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Television International chief Wayne Garvie has set his sights on European production, he revealed during a keynote discussion at MipTV on Monday afternoon.

Garvie was speaking alongside Bad Wolf co-founder Jane Tranter in a panel discussion moderated by Variety international editor Manori Ravindran. SPTV International acquired Bad Wolf, who have produced shows including “His Dark Materials,” in December.

During the discussion, Garvie said that SPTV International had almost accomplished its goal of becoming “the biggest drama studio in Britain” and was now setting its sights on European production. “We can see a demand for European content,” Garvie said.

Garvie and Tranter also discussed why SPTV International and Bad Wolf were a good fit for each other, with Garvie citing “the scale and ambition of the Bad Wolf team” and Tranter saying she had liked how SPTV International had grown another of the companies they had acquired in recent years, “The Crown” makers Left Bank as well as the fact that SPTV is “truly independent” and also that it is rooted in the U.S.

Saying that being acquired is “like a marriage” and requires careful consideration, Tranter explained that what had ultimately persuaded Bad Wolf to join SPTV’s stable of high-end production companies was the fact they “would be stronger in partnership rather than doing it on our own but [we] wanted to maintain the sense of signature and independence.”

While Bad Wolf is also set to make the next season of “Doctor Who” alongside showrunner Russell T. Davies, Tranter declined to reveal who the next Doctor is set to be played by, saying only that with a deadline of 2023, they would be going into production later this year.

Equally Garvie remained circumspect on the future of “The Crown,” which will begin production on its sixth season this summer, saying only that creator Peter Morgan has always known where and when the series would end. He did say, however that Eleven, another production company owned by SPTV, is focusing on “other iconic British figures that have a presence around the world that people have heard about.”

The duo also discussed the streaming landscape, with Tranter saying that despite having a strong relationship with HBO, for example, she approaches streamers on a project by project basis, having recently sold another series, “Coming Undone,” to Netflix recently. “It’s about finding the right home for the right project,” she said.

She also explained that on a potential adaptation she is looking to option, she is considering hand-selling it to territories one by one rather than relinquishing worldwide rights to a streamer, which she described in an analogy as driving against the traffic. Tranter explained: “I like the idea of hand-rearing a piece in that way.”

From Variety US