Patty Ishimoto’s Element 8 shingle is prepping “Blood,” a crime drama set in Jordan and with Academy Award-nominated director Hany Abu-Assad attached. Sky Vision has just come on board, and will sell the series globally.
“Blood” is set to be the first high-end English-language drama series set and filmed in the Middle East with local talent, and bound for the international market. Shooting is set to take place on location in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
The series will follow three childhood friends, bound by a secret from their past. Now in their 30s, they are a detective, a lawyer, and a convict. Spanning the cop’s street-level view of Amman, the attorney’s high-end office and lifestyle, and the convict’s prison life, the trio become caught up in a conspiracy.
Abu-Asad, who directed 2017’s “The Mountain Between Us,” is attached, marking his first move in TV. The Dutch-Palestinian helmer is known for 2006’s “Paradise Now,” which received an Oscar nomination in the best foreign-language film category. His 2013 movie “Omar” was nominated in the same category and also in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, winning the Jury Prize.
He will direct from a script from in-demand Arab-American screenwriter Nizar Wattad, who penned “The United,” Disney’s first Arabic-language film, in 2012. Sky and Element 8 want the eight-part series to go into production in the winter of 2019, which would likely mean a 2020 launch.
Jason Simms, Sky Vision’s director of drama and comedy, did the deal with Ishimoto, the former head of programming at DirecTV, where she greenlit shows including “Kingdom.” 2019 looks set to be a busy year as the first projects from her Element 8 banner come to fruition.