HBO Europe Greenlights Crime Caper ‘Tuff Money’ From Cristian Mungiu’s Mobra Films

Daniel Sandu Cristian Mungiu
Courtesy of HBO Europe (left); Sebastien Nogier/EPA/Shutterstock (right)

HBO Europe has greenlit original series “Tuff Money” (“Bani Negri”), a six-part crime caper from Cristian Mungiu’s Mobra Films, the company behind Mungiu’s Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” and HBO Europe’s “Hackerville.”

“Tuff Money” has been written and will be directed by Daniel Sandu, the writer and director of the film “One Step Behind the Seraphim” and a writer on “Hackerville.”

The Romanian series follows two lovable losers, who joke about being able to commit the perfect crime. The joke backfires when their words are misconstrued, and they find themselves forced into actually having to commit the robbery. They are totally unprepared, both for the crime and its bizarre aftermath.

“’Tuff Money’ is a funny and smart caper that is absolutely Romanian at heart, with a sensibility and charm giving it an appeal beyond local audiences,” Antony Root, exec VP, original programming and production, HBO Europe, said. “The combination of Daniel’s authored vision and Mobra Films’ internationally-renowned excellence make it an exciting addition to our local originals slate.”

Sandu said he wanted to create a comedy-drama about “ordinary people who get caught up in incredible situations.” He added that if he were to sum up the story in one word, it would be “consequences.” “It is about the domino effect of actions triggered by one little innocent joke,” he said.

Sandu’s 2017 feature film “One Step Behind the Seraphim” was nominated for 15 Gopo Awards, Romania’s top film prizes, winning eight including best feature film, director and screenplay.

Shooting on “Tuff Money” – a working title – begins next month in Piatra Neamt and continues in Onesti and Bucharest. The series’ executive producers are Johnathan Young, HBO Europe’s VP, original programming and production, Central Europe, and Root. It will premiere day-and-date across the 21 countries that HBO Europe reaches.

HBO Europe has been producing original local drama in Central Europe since 2010, expanding production activities to Scandinavia and Spain in 2016. Its slate includes Season 3 of “Umbre” (Romania), Season 3 of “Wataha” (Poland), “Patria” (Spain), “Foodie Love” (Spain), “30 Coins” (Spain), “Gosta” (Sweden), “The Sleepers” (Czech Republic), “The Pioneer” (Spain), “Beforeigners” (Norway), “Beartown” (Sweden), and “Whatever” (Spain).