UK-based indie Fable Pictures has secured the TV rights to tell the definitive story of the famous British sisters Dame Joan and Jackie Collins, OBE.
The story will chart the lives of two remarkable heroines on the riveting journeys of their dazzling careers, through personal tragedy and triumph, emerging as the fabulous icons we know today. This is the inside story of the ultimate Hollywood fantasy: from a teenage bedroom in post-war London to the insatiable glitz and glamour of 1980’s Beverly Hills.
Dame Joan and Jackie Collins, OBE pushed the boundaries of female success and challenged the status quo. This is a story of then, for now. The series will follow the two sisters on their pathways to fame, each carving out longstanding careers, Joan as an actress and Jackie as an author, proving that women can indeed be in the driving seat of their own lives. As they struggle to make it against all the odds, in a world long before #metoo, these power house sisters negotiate the issues that many women still face today: sexism, misogyny, harassment, abuse, ageism and pay equity. Joan and Jackie navigate it all with their trademark wit and megawatt glamour proving they are both strong and fearless women not to be underestimated.
This is an extraordinary rite of passage story about two sisters who did it for themselves – and each other – to define the 1980s.
Dame Joan Collins won one of the last studio contracts in Hollywood’s Golden Age. As 20th Century Fox’s new ingenue she went on to star in countless films and television series with all of the Hollywood Greats. In 1982 she became the biggest and highest paid female star on television for her iconic performance as the femme-fatale business woman Alexis Carrington in the US TV series “Dynasty.” Joan’s debut in the second season made the show an immediate hit. She won a Golden Globe for her performance in 1983. In an extraordinary career spanning decades, Joan most recently starred in the Emmy winning hit series American Horror Story. Joan was awarded the Damehood in 2015 for her services to charity, to add to the Order of the British Empire she received in 1996 for her services to drama.
Jackie Collins, OBE, joined big sister Joan in Los Angeles and eventually began to write novels inspired by her experiences and her astutely observant eye. She created a new kick ass heroine - strong, seductive, and powerful and reinvented women’s fiction. In 1982 she received a record-breaking $1million advance for her novel Hollywood Wives. Jackie Collins went on to write thirty-two New York Times bestselling novels, selling more than 500 million books around the world in a trail blazing career that spanned decades. In the 1970s Joan starred in two films based on her sister’s novels “The Stud” and “The Bitch”.
The six-hour series will be produced by Fable Pictures and distributed globally by Sony Pictures Television. Executive Producers are Caroline Harvey, Faye Ward (The Crown series 1, Suffragette, Stan & Ollie) and Hannah Farrell (Suffragette, Jane Eyre). Award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner (The Village Bike, Linda) will pen the series.
The Emmy award-winning casting director Nina Gold (The Crown, Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII & IX, Game of Thrones) is also on board to cast the series.
Dame Joan Collins said: “I am delighted that such a prestigious team wants to tell our story, and I know my sister Jackie would be as excited as I am to be involved!”
Jackie Collins Daughters said: “We are delighted that Faye, Caroline and Sony Pictures Television will be producing the remarkable story of our mother and our aunt and their rise to stardom. Our mother always told us when we were growing up that ‘Girls can do anything!’ and Joan & Jackie will fabulously depict how true that is!”.
Penelope Skinner commented: “I am thrilled to be working on the fascinating story of these fabulous, iconic and powerful women. There is far more to Joan and Jackie than diamonds and shoulder pads: these are two very special sisters whose lives are both aspirational and inspirational”.
Faye Ward/ Caroline Harvey said: “This is a dream project for us. We are delighted that the Collins' family have entrusted us with this empowering story about two exceptional sisters who challenged the status quo, set their hearts on their wildest Hollywood dreams and achieved them on their own terms”.
Highly sought after, award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner’s credits include the twice extended, sell out The Village Bike, which staged at both the Royal Court, London starring Romola Garai and in New York starring Greta Gerwig - winning her the George Devine award & the Evening Standard award for most Promising Playwright. In 2016, the highly acclaimed Linda starring Noma Dumezweni was staged at The Royal Court. 2018’s Angry Alan won Penelope Skinner the prestigious Scotsman Fringe Award. Her previous screen credits include Channel 4’s hit series Fresh Meat and the feature film How I Live Now.
Executive Producer Caroline Harvey was previously Head of Development at Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack’s production company, Mirage Enterprises (The Interpreter, Michael Clayton, No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Cold Mountain). She was BAFTA nominated for producing Sam Taylor-Johnson’s first narrative film, Love You More. She went on to be a creative executive at Working Title and worked alongside Sally Greene (Billy Elliot the Musical, The Old Vic Theatre.) Sally Greene will also serve as an Executive Producer.
Fable Pictures has had a whirlwind year with two of their feature films arriving to critical acclaim. Stan & Ollie depicts the beloved comedy duo Laurel & Hardy, played by Academy Award nominees Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, and has been nominated for 3 BAFTAs and a Golden Globe. Spring 2019 sees Wild Rose stars Jessie Buckley as a Glaswegian singer who dreams of making it big in the country music scene in America.