BBC Studios Buys Minority Stake in ‘Small Axe,’ ‘Munich: The Edge of War’ Producer Turbine Studios

BBC Studios Buys Minority Stake in ‘Small Axe,’ ‘Munich: The Edge of War’ Producer Turbine Studios

BBC Studios, the commercial arm of U.K. public broadcaster BBC, has acquired a minority stake in British production firm Turbine Studios, the company behind the likes of anthology film series Small Axe (BBC/Amazon), movie Munich: The Edge of War (Netflix) and Steve McQueen’s documentary series Uprising.

Its latest project, Constellation, is an “eight-part conspiracy-based, psychological thriller” for Apple TV+, written by Peter Harness and starring Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus) and Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul).

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Financial terms of the deal, unveiled on Wednesday, were not disclosed.

Turbine Studios was established in 2020 by Andrew Eaton, Tracey Scoffield, Justin Thomson and David Tanner who all have the title of founder and executive producer. “The team creates distinctive content that focuses on high-quality returning drama for both U.K. broadcasters and global streaming platforms, including the BBC, Netflix, Apple and Amazon,” the companies said.

“Turbine Studios has an enviable reputation within our industry,” said Mark Linsey, managing director scripted, BBC Studios. “Their focus on creating concept-led, franchise and premium thriller drama is matched by their ability to attract world-renowned talent from behind and in front of the camera. The team have an impressive slate of projects across both TV and film in the pipeline and exciting growth plans that our investment will help to deliver.”

The deal includes the Germany-based sister company Turbine Studios GmbH, a co-venture between Turbine, Daniel Hetzer and Matthias Braun that specializes in original development and production services for the European market. 

Eaton has produced such high-profile films as Ron Howard’s Rush, as well as The Crown for Netflix. Scoffield was an executive producer at BBC Films for 10 years where she also ran the development team before setting up Rainmark Films, which secured a first-look deal with HBO; she was the creative producer behind Small Axe and is also the creative driving force, along with Tanner, on Constellation, for Apple. Tanner produced the Netflix/ITV Sean Bean series The Frankenstein Chronicles. Thomson, a film and television lawyer by training, as a senior business affairs executive oversaw both the Channel 4 drama and Film Four slate before setting up and then selling Box TV and Artists Studio; he recently executive produced Apple’s six-part serial Liaison, starring Vincent Cassell and Eva Green.

BBC Studios, led by CEO Tom Fussell, has been busy striking deals for production companies this year. Among others, it took full ownership of Sid Gentle Films (Killing Eve) and Firebird Pictures, while also expanding its portfolio with transactions with unscripted production firms.