Bringing together film and TV talent on both sides of the camera, “The Returned” was created by Fabrice Gobert, whose debut feature, “Lights Out,” bowed at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard. It’s produced by Caroline Benjo, Jimmy Desmarais and Carole Scotta at Haut et Court, the company behind Laurent Cantet’s Palme d’Or-winning “The Class” and Audrey Tautou starrer.
Cast includes bigscreen talents Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Celine Sallette, Guillaume Gouix, Frederic Pierrot and Samir Guesmi.
Managed by Ed Arentz, Music Box Films will roll out the series on VOD platforms on Jan. 1 and DVD/Blu-Ray on Jan. 21, following its October bow on a major U.S. TV channel. The TV deal will be unveiled shortly.
The cinematic show, based on Robin Camillo’s “Les Revenants,” ranks as Canal Plus’ highest-rated French-language series. Its debut on Channel 4 in the U.K. averaged a healthy 1.5 million viewers. Repped by Zodiak Rights, the series has nearly sold worldwide.
Set in a mysterious mountain town, the suspenser skein follows a seemingly random collection of people who attempt to regain their homes and reclaim their lives without realizing that they’ve been dead for years. Their arrival coincides with a series of gruesome murders which bear resemblance to the work of a serial killer from the past.
“The Returned’ epitomizes the very best of the crop of outstanding international television productions finding its way onto the U.S. screens,” William Schopf, Music Box Films prexy.
Added Benjo, “American TV and cinema have always been for us the ultimate landmark of the zombie genre, and our idea with ‘The Returned,” was to play with the genre and be an homage to it at the same time.”
Music Box has recently acquired several other upscale European TV dramas, notably the critically-aclaimed German period mini-series “Generation War.” Music Box will release the mini in theaters in early 2014, as well as on VOD and DVD.
Deal on “The Returned” was negotiated by Schopf and Zodiak’s Glen Hansen.