Two of Europe’s most energetic high-end series producers, Spain’s Mediapro and France’s Federation Entertainment, are teaming with director Jaume Collet Serra to produce an English-language crime drama set in Ibiza.
The project marks a move into series by Collet Serra and his L.A.-based Ombra Films. Collet Serra’s movies, including Liam Neeson thrillers “Unknown,” “Non-Stop” and “The Commuter,” have earned more than $800 million worldwide and made him one of Europe’s most successful L.A.-based movie directors.
Ryan Engle, a writer on “Non-Stop,” Collet Serra’s biggest hit to date with $222.8 million in global revenue, is writing the new eight-episode drama. It will start shooting next year. Engle’s recent writing credits include Dwayne Johnson-starrer “Rampage” for Warner Bros. and the upcoming “Cowboy Ninja Viking,” with Chris Pratt, for Universal.
The new series centers on a young woman’s disappearance on the party island of Ibiza. A mysterious American man lays the groundwork to infiltrate the island’s underworld and find the people responsible.
The series originated some years ago as an in-house drama for Mediapro, overseen by international content head Laura Fernández Espeso, and for Ombra Films. The project has grown in scope since Engle and Paris- and L.A.-based Federation Entertainment came on board last summer.
Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment has backed notable foreign-language series such as Netflix’s “Marseille,” Israel’s “Hostages,” Canal Plus’ “The Bureau” and “Bad Banks,” a high-profile new series at this year’s Berlinale. It is now diving more deeply into English-language drama series. With new backing from London-based investment company Anton, which is taking equity positions in Federation’s burgeoning portfolio of drama series, Federation can co-produce and acquire select or all international territories on a series.
Barcelona-based Mediapro, spearheaded by founders Jaume Roures and Taxto Banet, is also investing more in high-end drama productions. At April’s MipTV market in Cannes, the company announced a co-development partnership with “The Wire’s” David Simon for the Spanish Civil War-set series “A Dry Run.”
Mediapro made waves last week by snatching away broadcast rights to France’s first-division soccer matches from Canal Plus.
Collet Serra’s Ombra banner, which he launched in 2011 with producing partner Juan Sola, has mostly focused on producing movies by emerging Spanish talent such as Miguel Angel Vivas (“Extinction”) and Jorge Dorado (“Mindscape”), as well as co-producing Collet Serra’s own recent movies as a director: “The Shadows” and “The Commuter.” The Ibiza series broadens Ombra’s European reach.
(Pictured: Jaume Collet Serra, Jaume Roures and Pascal Breton)