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Wild Bunch Launches TV Division With ‘Medici,’ ‘Four Seasons in Havana’

Pan European outfit Wild Bunch is launching a new Paris-based television banner and two high-profile international projects: “Medici: Masters of Florence” with Dustin Hoffman (“Rain Man”) and Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) and “Four Seasons in Havana,” co-written by Leonardo Padura.

Wild Bunch, which won its fifth Palme d’Or this year with Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan,” will be financing and handling international distribution on its TV shows.

Wild Bunch’s co-chief Vincent Grimond (pictured above with the outfit’s head of sales Carole Baraton) said Wild Bunch TV is aiming to sell four or five shows per year with an estimated 50 million Euros of investment per year and expects to generate, in the long run, about 100 million Euros in annual revenue from the new division.

Wild Bunch TV will indeed be spearheaded by Carole Baraton, a vet industry player who joined Wild Bunch when it got founded in 2002 and heads up international sales. The TV team is completed by Diana Bartha, in charge of development and international sales, as well as Thomas Triboit, who handles acquisitions and Aurelia Porret, who runs marketing.

“Four Seasons in Havana,” a Spanish-language thriller based on famed Latin American writer Leonardo Padura’s anthology, follows detective Mario Conde in Havana, against the backdrop of the downfall of communism in the 90’s. Padura penned the adaptation with Lucia Lopez Coll (“Return to Ithaca”). Cuban star Jorge Perugorria (“Che”) toplines as Conde.

Comprising eight episodes and pitched as a Caribbean Noir, “Four Seasons in Havana” is directed by Felix Viscarret, a Spanish helmer known for “Dreamers” and “Under The Stars.”

“Padura’s universe is an irresistible one: Police stories set in the midst of the decadent and sensual beauty of Havana. Crimes that are investigated by a disenchanted police detective. Bureaucracy and lack of transparency in this particular Caribbean regime,” wrote Viscarret in his director’s notes.

The series, produced by A Tornasol Films, whose credits include the Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes” and the Oscar-nommed “Son of the Bride,” and Nadcon Production, will be delivered during the first quarter of 2016.

Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (‘”The Pillars of the Earth”)’s “Medici: Masters of Florence” is an English-language series created by Frank Spotnitz (“The Man in the Castle”). The series will bend the period genre, mixing political thriller and murder mystery.

“Medici: Masters of Florence,” which WME reps in the U.S., is already one of Rai Fiction’s rare international co-production aimed for global audiences, per Baraton.

Wild Bunch is connected to some of the world’s most critically-acclaimed auteurs – Audiard, Ken Loach, Gaspard Noe, Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Winding Refn, to name a few — and is connected to local broadcasters through its direct distribution operations in key European markets: France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Italy; Grimond also confirmed Wild Bunch was looking at ventures in the U.K., Italy and Australia.

Georges Campana, the producer of Erick Zonca’s “Soldat Blanc” and Giacomo Battiato’s “L’infiltré,” helped set up Wild Bunch TV and will act as adviser to the board for content selection and executive production.

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