27 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Netflix commission Lisa McGee’s How To Get To Heaven From Belfast
19 Mar 2024 : News Desk
Lisa McGee
Lisa McGee’s How To Get To Heaven From Belfast has been commissioned for Netflix from Hat Trick Productions, having moved from Channel 4 to the streamer.

The eight part series from Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee is being produced by Hat Trick Productions for Netflix. The project was first announced as a Channel 4 commission in August 2023, but the broadcaster cited “changes in editorial direction” and “rising costs” as reasons the project could no longer move forward at the network.

In a statement to Variety, a Channel 4 spokesperson said:

“We loved Lisa McGee’s ‘How to Get to Heaven From Belfast’ and offered a substantial license fee to be its U.K. home.”

“Unfortunately due to changes in editorial direction as the development process progressed, coupled with rising costs and the recent cooling in the U.S. co-production market, it became impossible to get the right international partner and funding plan in place. We wish Lisa and Hat Trick Productions all the best and look forward to working together on future projects.”

The synopsis for How To Get To Heaven From Belfast is as follows:

“Clever, chaotic TV writer Saoirse, glamorous, stressed-out mother of three Robyn and dependable, inhibited carer Dara have been a tight-knit group since school. Now in their late 30s, but still as close as ever, these three friends are about to embark on the most thrilling adventure of their lives. When an email arrives, telling them about the death of the estranged fourth member of their childhood gang, Greta, a series of eerie events at her wake set them on a dark, dangerous and hilarious odyssey through Ireland and beyond as each tries to piece together the truth of the past. A show about friendship, memory and what happens when life doesn’t turn out quite like you’d expected.”

The series is being directed by Michael Lennox (Derry Girls, Say Nothing), and produced by Lennox, Caroline Leddy (Derry Girls, The Inbetweeners), Liz Lewin (Derry Girls, The Lovers), Lisa McGee and Jimmy Mulville.

Speaking with IFTN last year about the end of Derry Girls, McGee described the upcoming project as "like the Coen brothers, only they’re Northern Irish women.”

Filming on the series will commence in Summer 2024.

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