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Joseph Fiennes Plans to Produce and Star in Cyrano de Bergerac Series for Atrium TV

Michael Douglas produced ‘Silo’ also moving forward for Atrium TV

Joseph Fiennes Plans to Produce and
DRG

Joseph Fiennes was in Cannes, Sunday, to talk to potential partners about “Cyrano,” his “Cyrano de Bergerac” series project for Atrium TV.

Atrium TV is a drama commissioning club that has telcos and pay-TV platforms as members. They were in Cannes to run the rule over new projects and others already in development. Members include BT from the U.K., Televisa from Mexico, Orange from France, and Movistar+ from Spain. They co-fund scripted series and launch them domestically as original productions. Atrium is backed by distributor DRG, which then sells the shows outside of the territories in which they were commissioned.

Atrium TV CEO, Richard Halliwell, said Sunday that Michael Douglas-produced “Silo,” which was first shown to members in May, is moving forward with new scripts being written. The futuristic drama is set in San Francisco. Douglas will produce with Peter Horton (“Grey’s Anatomy”), who writes alongside Raelle Tucker (“Jessica Jones”).

“Cyrano,” meanwhile, is at an earlier stage. It is based on Edmond Rostand’s classic play, about a brave and daring hero with a huge nose, and who is crippled by insecurity and feels unworthy of the attention of the woman he loves, Roxane. The series will retain the original 17th century French setting. Tracy Ann Baines, best known for her effects work and art direction is adapting it for TV.

“It’s been 30 years since the beautiful film and I think it’s time to mine it, to explore that world and the politics and the character, and to deliver it to a fresh audience,” Fiennes, told Variety. The star of “The Handmaid’s Tale” noted there have been countless versions of the story, but said there has never been one for TV.

“The canvas is massive and there are so many rich characters, it has a longevity that could be really exciting,” he said. “I felt the world and the other characters, not unlike in ‘Shakespeare in Love,’ have a delicious balance of drama and wit. I think the world of ‘Cyrano’ definitely throws a mirror up to humanity.”

The Development Partnership, the recently-minted content arm of talent agency The Artists Partnership, is on board “Cyrano.” Its principal Robert Taylor will produce alongside Ed Clarke (“Swimming with Men”).

Atrium unveiled three other new projects to members in Cannes: “The Body,” an eight-part version of the Hanif Kureishi novella adapted by Robert Murphy (“Inspector George Gently”); espionage thriller “Clara Vine,” based on the Jane Thynne novels and adapted by writer Jane English (“Harlots”); and “The Mexican Witch Hunt,” a supernatural thriller about a hunt for an illegal immigrant and suspected killer from Sylvain ‘Sly’ Raymond.