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Jamie Mathieson Tapped To Pen ‘Metal Hurlant: Origins’

PARIS– France’s Atlantique Productions is set to reboot the French sci-fi hit series “Metal Hurlant Chronicles” with Jamie Mathieson (“Doctor Who,” “Being Human”) on board as head writer.

Atlantique Productions is joining forces with WE Productions, the outfit behind “tal Hurlant Chronicles” – the English-language skein (pictured above) that sold to more than 80 countries, including Syfy in the U.S. — to co-produce “Metal Hurlant: Origins.” 

“Métal Hurlant: Origins” is in development and will go into production in early 2015 for delivery in the third quarter.

“Metal Hurlant” is based on the French sci-fi and fantasy comics anthology published in the U.S. as “Heavy Metal” and created by comic artists Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius) and Philippe Druillet in 1974.

The reboot will depart from the anthology format used in the first two seasons to become serialized. It will therefore span a single story for a whole season with a recurring cast. The makeover is also being developed as a one-hour series, instead of the original half-hour format. 

Olivier Bibas,  co-executive producer at Atlantique Prods (with Patrick Nebout), told Variety he expected “a new cast although some special guests could come back.”

“Metal Hurlant is an iconic comic and the wellspring from which a lot of fledgling UK comics talent took their inspiration. Without Heavy Metal there would be no 2000AD, no Judge Dredd and my childhood would be a much duller place,” said Mathieson.  “I am therefore immensely proud to have been invited to helm this redefinition of one small corner of the immensity that is the Heavy Metal universe.”

Nebout and Bibas said: “The partnership (with WE Prods) reflects our strategy to work as a European mini-studio, broadening our portfolio with new lines of products and forging alliances with the most creative independent producers around.”

“Jamie Mathieson’s vision and talent, his reimagining of the series, built round a captivating seasonal arc where we follow a returning set of characters through time travels and universes, provides for a fresh and powerful proposition to a wider global audience,” added the execs. 

Sold by Panini, the first two seasons of “Metal Hurlant Chronicles”  aired on French pubcaster France 4  and on Syfy in the U.S., and were picked up in nearly 80 other territories, including Germany, Central Europe and Russia with Sony Pictures Television.

Atlantique Prods.’s best-known credits include Tom Fontana’s “Borgia” and “Transporter,” which is set to launch next month on TNT in the U.S.. 

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