By Max Goldbart, Deadline

Matthew Anderson (left) and Andrea Scrosati. Fremantle

Matthew Anderson (left) and Andrea Scrosati. Fremantle

Fremantle has acquired a minority stake in Artists, Writers & Artisans (AWA), the U.S.-based indie backed by Liz Murdoch’s Chernobyl producer Sister and James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems.

AWA works across film, TV and graphic novels and Devil’s Highway – based on the comic series by Benjamin Percy and Brent Schoonover – is the first fruits of its collaboration with Fremantle, which kicked off last year with a partnership to co-develop a TV slate. Fremantle and Lupa co-led that investment round alongside new capital from long-term backers of AWA and a number of strategic investors.

The Fremantle investment revealed today will aid AWA’s film and TV arm AWA Studios with strategic input.

“We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with AWA. The collaboration is a perfect strategic fit, giving AWA access to our global footprint, distribution infrastructure and production expertise and putting Fremantle at the very forefront of graphic fiction innovation,” said Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle’s Group COO and CEO Continental Europe.

AWA Studios Co-Chair and President Matthew Anderson called Fremantle an “international force in scripted drama and film.”

Since launch, AWA Studios has unveiled feature film adaptations of Chariot by Bryan Edward Hill and Priscilla Petraites, which Warner Bros. acquired in competitive bidding, Marjorie Finnegan: Temporal Criminal by Garth Ennis and Goran Sudžuka, which Ruben Fleischer will direct, and Hotell by John Lees and Dalibor Talajić from director Elle Callahan. Other projects are in active development.

The expanded partnership was spearheaded by Scrosati and Anderson. James Murdoch’s Lupa and Liz Murdoch’s prolific drama indie Sister have previously backed AWA.

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