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‘Doctor Who’ Director Joe Ahearne Developing UFO Drama With Sony and Eleventh Hour Films

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Writer and director Joe Ahearne (“Da Vinci’s Demons”) is bringing a real-life UFO incident to the small screen. Ahearne has just partnered up with Sony Picture Televisions international production division and Eleventh Hour Films, according to Deadline. The upcoming UFO drama will tell the mysterious story of a strange sight over Suffolk in 1980.

Aptly named “Rendlesham,” the project tells the tale of a “glowing object” that hovered near a US air base near the small village of Rendlesham in Suffolk. Several townspeople, along with a few air force servicemen, saw the UFO before it flew over into the trees of a nearby forest. The entire incident was written up by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt in an official report, though nothing came of his account. Even after the report was made public in 1983, other officers trashed the story. The series will reportedly follow a local family in the area of the incident, set against the bleak Cold War. The drama will follow two timelines: one in 1980 during the incident, and in 2020, the anniversary of the sighting.

Ahearne will write, direct and executive produce the series. Jill Green (“The American”) and Eleventh Hour’s Eve Gutierrez (“New Blood”) will also executive produce. The writer and director is known for his work on David Goyer’s “Da Vinci’s Demons” and his direction of five “Doctor Who” episodes. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Danny Boyle’s “Trance,” which starred James McAvoy (“Atomic Blonde”).

Sony Pictures Television will pitch the series to broadcasters and streaming platforms in both the U.S. and U.K. Ahearne said the project “pressed all [his] buttons” and believes a wider audience will find the UFO sighting fascinating. Sony president Wayne Garvie added:

“The Cold War, Cruise Missiles, UFOs – Joe is taking extraordinary tales and giving them even more compelling twists. As a local lad, I can’t wait to see him bring his vision of Suffolk to the world.”

Ahearne is repped by United Agents.

Who would you like to see in “Rendlesham”? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by Selina Mixner

Selina is a queer, half-Filipina fangirl who loves TV, film and corgis a little too much. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Literature and Psychology from UC Santa Cruz. Her rules for writing are simple: is it tattoo-worthy? If not, try again.


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