×

Finnish Media Fund IPR Bets on ‘The Red Harlequin’s’ Development

Set up at Pantomimus, project based on Italian Roberto Ricci's YA fantasy books saga

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain – Finland’s leading media fund IPR is financing the development of TV series project “The Red Harlequin,” based on Italian writer Roberto Ricci’s young adult fantasy books saga.

The partnership follows a deal inked by the Finnish fund with Pantomimus Media, the company Ricci, agent Lisa Hryniewicz and creative director Pascal Demure have launched to hold and develop all “The Red Harlequin” rights.

Conceived as a transmedia project, “The Red Harlequin” will have the TV series at its heart.

As a TV drama, “The Red Harlequin’s” first season is envisaged as a 12-episode one hour drama with an international cast and an estimated budget of €30 million ($34.8 million) per season. Pantomimus is in final negotiations with a U.K. head writer and showrunner, Ricci told Variety.

“As IPR invests in development with the aim of financing the actual production, the plan is for our pact to continue beyond development,” he added.

According to Timo Argillander, managing partner at IPR,“this is a unique and compelling IP whose content can easily extend from books and comics to a plethora of formats and adaptations such as TV, music, video-games, film and licensing.”

“The Red Harlequin” is set in an ancient, alternate world where Chromes and Harlequins live divided by colors, and everyone hides behind masks.

“I started writing ‘The Red Harlequin’ soon after some powerful movements such as Los Indignados, Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring began to shake consciences in their respective countries,” Ricci said.

“I wanted to find a way that went beyond time and beyond current events. As I had always been fascinated by masks, I decided to draw on the Italian ‘Commedia Dell’Arte’ and create an alternate world.”

Although persecuted since the dawn of time, Harlequins are feared by Chromes as evil creatures with mysterious powers. The Harlequins hold the key to the truth of their world until Asheva, a young member of the Black Chromes, chooses a new path and eventually becomes The Red Harlequin, the most feared Harlequin of them all.

In the story, “the different color nations fight against each other, each suspicious of the other, each feeling morally superior to the other, and each one afraid of the diversity of the other. I would say that this is very similar to current events, where fear seems to drive political and economic decisions instead of collaboration and dialogue,” Ricci said.

He added: “The same holds true for masks. In ‘The Red Harlequin,’ people wear masks in public and I’m not sure that in real life things are much different. The changing force, the one that tears down the masks of hypocrisy, is youth.”

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content