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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to produce a new movie for Netflix.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are believed to have paid up to $3 million for the rights to Carley Fortune’s novel ‘Meet Me At The Lake’, which follows a couple who meet in their 30s, one of whom has, like the prince, lost a parent in a car crash as a child, and features themes including alcohol, drug use, and mental health issues.
The drama will be the first off-camera joint project for the couple as part of their rumoured $100 million deal with the streaming service, which they signed three years ago.
A source told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “The themes of the book gripped the couple and it was chosen for their first adaptation with Netflix…
“This is their biggest and most significant as producers.”
It was recently revealed the couple – who have so far only made the Harry + Meghan’ fly-on-the-wall docuseries and another documentary programme, ‘Live to Lead’, for Netflix – will be making a ‘Great Expectations’ spin-off series for the streaming giant.
According to the Wall Street Journal, their Archewell company are working on ‘Bad Manners’, a prequel based on Charles Dickens’ classic character Miss Havisham but with the lonely spinster reimagined as a strong woman living in a patriarchal society, though the show has yet to be greenlit.
Harry’s documentary series about the Invictus Games is also near completion, however, Meghan’s animated children’s series ‘Pearl’ was cancelled last May, and the couple have also had a number of other proposals quashed.
The outlet reports their suggestions seemed designed to replicate already-successful shows on Netflix, including a sitcom “described as ‘Emily in Paris’, but about a man” and an LGBTQ+ show that would be family-friendly, which was seen as too similar to ‘Heartstopper’.
Despite the knock-backs, both Harry and Meghan – who have Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two, together – and Netflix remain happy with the deal.
A spokesperson for Archewell said: “New companies often make changes in their start up phase, both with people and strategy, and we are no exception. We’re more equipped, focused and energised than ever before.”
She also noted the company had recently hired actress and producer Tracy Ryerson as head of scripted content.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s representative highlighted the fact ‘Harry + Meghan’ had been their biggest documentary debut and insisted they valued the partnership with Archewell.
The spokesperson added: “We’ll continue to work together on a number of projects.”