Wilbur Smith
Wilbur Smith

Corona Pictures has secured the television and film rights to three of the best-selling books by world-renowned author Wilbur Smith – BIRDS OF PREY, MONSOON and BLUE HORIZON, all published by Pan Macmillan.

A dynastic family saga of epic proportions, the series of novels tells the story of three generations of the Courtney family as it battles to secure its fortunes and its place in history in the New World that is Africa in the 17th century. Starting with the coming-of-age story of teenager Hal Courtney’s adventures alongside the life and death of his legendary father Francis, the series chronicles a world where unimaginable treasures lie waiting for those who are first to take them. It is a time of primal ambition with extraordinary battles for this land of riches between sea-faring empires, marauding pirates, and the people who already live there…

The company plans to adapt the books over several series for a worldwide television audience. Wilbur Smith, one of the world’s most consistently bestselling authors, is published in over twenty-six languages, in 52 countries and has been a No. 1 bestseller for many years in the UK.  His estimated global sales are now over 130 million copies.    His 34th novel,Vicious Circle, will be published by Pan Macmillan in early 2013.

Jeremy Trevathan, Wilbur Smith’s Publisher at Pan Macmillan, said: “It’s terrific to see that the potential for film and TV drama in Wilbur’s fiction is being recognised and we’re delighted to be working with Corona to bring the Courtney novels to a new generation whether it be on the small screen or through his fantastic backlist.”

Corona principals Richard Johns and Rupert Jermyn commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Wilbur’s work to the screen. So many people in so many countries have loved his books, and we now see a great new audience for his stories.”

Kevin Conroy Scott, MD of Wilbur Smith’s literary agency, Charles Pick Consultancy Ltd, added: ”Ensuring Wilbur’s legacy and the continued growth of his fan-base is of primary interest to us and the scale and ambition of Corona’s plans for a high-quality TV franchise, built around this group of titles, seemed a perfect fit.”

Praise for BIRDS OF PREY:

“Far more than your typical pirate script … A fascinating account … Smith deftly evokes not only the horrific but also the beautiful, particularly the lush landscape of Africa.” –  The Washington Post Book World

“A rousing adventure story … Smith is a captivating storyteller. His writing is fast-paced yet richly textured. His characters are unique and intriguing … this latest epic transcends the average action-adventure yarn.” – The Orlando Sentinel

 “The scope is magnificent and the epic scale breathtaking….” – The Times

Praise for MONSOON:

Monsoon by Wilbur Smith

‘A grand tale of intrigue, deception, true love and exile.‘ – Denver Post

‘An epic… Smith joins the ranks of the grand masters ‘ – Tulsa World

“Let yourself be blown away by the hurricane of storytelling that is Monsoon.” – Sunday Times

Praise for BLUE HORIZON:

“This is popular fiction constructed on an epic scale.” – Sunday Telegraph

“Good, clean fun: a rumbustious, colourful adventure story, crammed full of incident.” – Evening Standard

“Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared.” – The Times


Corona Pictures is a London-based production company making films and television for worldwide audiences, run by principals Richard Johns and Rupert Jermyn. Simultaneously with this rights acquisition the company has established a new division focussing solely on television production, Corona Television Limited.

Corona Pictures has recently completed darkly comic thriller film The Liability, directed by Craig Viveiros and starring Tim Roth, Jack O’Connell, Talulah Riley, KierstonWareing and Peter Mullan, which will receive its first market screenings in the Marché du Film at Cannes 2012.

For further information contact Katie James at Pan Macmillan on 020 7014 6180; ;

At Corona Pictures, please contact Richard Johns or Rupert Jermyn on 020 3384 2790.

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