Screentime acquires Fitzsimons’ Batavia

Screentime has acquired the film rights to Peter Fitzsimon’s bestseller, Batavia.

The story, based on historical events of 1629 about Dutch merchant ship Batavia, foundered off the coast of Western Australia, will be made into a six hour mini-series and has already received interest from broadcasters both local and international.

The book is billed as ‘a sea-faring adventure full of mutiny, love, lust, criminality, slavery and the birth of the world’s first corporation.’

Screentime Executive Chairman Des Monaghan said in a statement: “I am delighted that we have been successful in acquiring the rights to Batavia. Peter FitzSimons has brought to vivid life this truly extraordinary chapter in Australia’s history. The book deserves its bestseller status and we look forward to bringing it to the screen as a big budget major television event.”

Fitzsimons said: “Batavia is far and away the greatest story in Australia’s history, if not the world’s. I have received hundreds of emails from people who’ve read it, asking ‘when is it coming to the screen?’ and now I have an answer. And I couldn’t be more pleased that Screentime is doing it. I have loved their Underbelly series, and thought their treatment of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet was as good as it gets.”

Fitzsimons writes for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald and has written 24 books including Tobruk, Kokoda, and biographies about Kim Beazley, Nick Farr-Jones, Steve Waugh and John Eales.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.