IAC-backed shingle focuses on global appeal of projects at Mip
Electus is making a major push in both producing and distributing scripted and reality series that it believes will have global resonance.The IAC-backed shingle has a handful of projects that are about to be shopped for domestic and international buyers, many of which will be on sale at the Mip market next month in Cannes. According to Electus CEO Chris Grant, the company believes creating series that have relevance across the globe — rather than just being domestic properties — creates the most financial sense. That philosophy is even spread to the showrunners, who, according to Grant, can see a greater financial reward by tailoring their shows to reach as wide an audience as possible, as well as being financially responsible in production costs. “What we’re really pushing for is a model where the showrunner understands our global concepts from the beginning,” Grant told Variety. “We have these big international ideas and you want to take your showrunner and bring them closer to the business process. In our world, the back-end participation can be far more real that way.” Electus is producing five scripted skeins in which it sees strong international potential. While “Marco Polo” was previously announced, new series include “Casca,” from creator-writer Jason Smilovic. Series is based on the book series from author Barry Sadler about a soldier who was cursed into a life of immortality by Jesus Christ on the day of the crucifixion. From “The Cooler” writer Wayne Kramer comes “The Lam,” which focuses on a full-service hotel for criminals in Chicago. Muse Entertainment is also on board as producer. Writer-director Rod Lurie, as well as Marc Frydman, is behind “The Crux,” a drama that chronicles enigmatic cult leader George Gabbler. Canadian shingle Shaftesbury is also participating as a producer. Last on the scripted side is “William the Conqueror,” created by Pierre Morel and Stewart Harcourt. Series examines the French monarch through his rise to power and invasion of England in 1066. Engine Entertainment will team with Electus and co-produce all titles except “Marco Polo” and “Casca.” “Marco Polo” is already aligned with pay cabler Starz. Written and created by John Fusco and co-produced by the Weinstein Co., “Marco Polo” emphasizes the martial arts in an examination of the 13th-century explorer. Fusco and Dave Erickson will be co-showrunners.