CANNES –Taylor Kitsch, Michael C. Hall and Nina Hoss are set to star in period thriller “Shadowplay,” one of the big series – with “War of the Worlds,” “Zero, Zero Zero,” “Years and Years” – on Studiocanal’s upcoming, event-series studded production slate.
Created by Måns Mårlind, co-creator of “The Bridge,” a banner Nordic Noir title, and “Midnight Sun,” one of Studiocanal’s biggest and best-received recent international co-productions, “Shadowplay” is set on a large-scale canvas, the bombed-out 1946 Berlin, one year after World War II, as its former Allies, the U.S, Russia rival for power in the wrecked city, and its survivors dare to hope to rebuild their lives.
Described by lead producers Tandem Productions and Bron Studios as a “gritty dramatic thriller,” and conceived by Mårlind as two “chapters” of eight-episodes, “Shadowplay’s” first chapter will shoot from April 30 in Prague and environs. Kitsch (“Waco,” “True Detective”) will play Max McLaughlin, an Brooklyn cop who arrives in Berlin in July 1946 to form part of a police force in a city with little law or order. His mission is to take down “Englemacher” Gladow, the Al Capone of post-war Berlin.
Sebastian Koch, star of the Academy-Award and Golden Globe-nominated “Never Look Away,” and whose credits take in “The Lives of Others” and “Homeland” plays the ‘Engelmacher’.
But Max is also there on what has been described as “a secret crusade” to find his brother Moritz, MIA (Logan Marshall-Green, “Prometheus”), who is killing ex-Nazis.
Wracked with guilt from his family past, Max is completely unaware that he is being used as a pawn in what is the very beginning of the Cold War,
“For me as a writer, Berlin in 1946, a lawless city with no order, is the ultimate arena to tell a story of strong but broken people trying to mend. To seek peace where there is still war. To find trust where there is no loyalty. To find love, because that is all,” said Mårlind.
Golden Globe-winner Michael C. Hall (“Dexter,” “Safe”) will play Tom Franklin. Nina Hoss (“Phoenix,” “A Most Wanted Man”) will take the role of Elsie, Tuppence Middleton (“Sense8,” “War and Peace”) limns Claire, Mala Emde (“Brecht, Charité”) is Karin.
An additional eight episodes are planned for a 2020 shoot. Mårlind has written all the first eight episodes and will direct all episodes alongside directing partner Björn Stein (“Underworld Awakening,” “Midnight Sun”).
Rola Bauer’s Tandem Productions (“Pillars of the Earth,”“World Without End,” “Spotless”), co-owned by Canal Plus Group’s Studiocanal, and Canada’s Bron Studios (“Tully,” “Joker,” “Harry Haft”) lead-produce, co-producing with German public broadcaster ZDF.
“Shadowplay” is co-financed by Creative Wealth Media, as well as an impressive lineup of major and often premium international networks – an early indication of the interest the project is sparking in the international market place.
These include Nordic Entertainment Group (Nent Group) for streaming service Viaplay (covering the Nordic region), French pay TV giant Canal Plus, Canal Plus Poland, and NPO Holland.
Studiocanal TV will handle world distribution rights.
“Shadowplay” will shoot in part at old factories an hour outside Prague which are being rebuilt to represent a bombed out, dusty Berlin.
“Too many big international production have recourse to CGI to attempt to give scope and grandness,” said Bauer. In “Shadowplay’s” case that will come in part from the set.
Executive producers are Mårlind, Bauer, Jonas Bauer (“Spotless,” “The Company”), Tim Halkin (“World Without End,” “Labyrinth”), Jim Gillespie (“World Without End,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer”).
Aaron L. Gilbert, Steven Thibault and David Davoli produce for Bron; executive producers for ZDF are Wolfgang Feindt (EThe Killing,” “The Same Sky”) and Frank Seyberth (“Trapped,” “The Bridge”).
Rick McCallum (“Britannia,” “A United Kingdom”) will produce the first chapter alongside line producer Veronika Lencova (“Britannia,” “Crossing Lines”), director of photography Erik Sohlström (“Midnight Sun”) and production designer Niels Sejer (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”).
“Midnight Sun brought us together,” said Bauer. “So, we were thrilled when Måns approached us with ‘Shadowplay.’ Måns’ authored voice, that rises above the rank and the dynamic directing duo of Måns and Björn, is pure pleasure to watch in action,” she added, calling “Shadowplay” a story that will entertain, enlighten and transcend all boundaries, with its relevance to today.”
Davoli, Bron, EVP, international television, added:
“The world class quality of this cast and crew is a direct reflection of the singular vision that Måns Mårlind has for “Shadowplay. It’s so clear”
“Shadowplay” represents Bron Studios’ first drama series production. “The pedigree of Studiocanal speaks for itself. Rola is somebody I had tracked in terms of her career, and seen some parallels with the type of career I wanted to have in international co-productions on the TV side. This is a natural place to be,” Davoli added.
ZDF co-produced “The Bridge.” We’re thrilled to have our next creative adventure with Måns Mårlind on ‘Shadow Play,’” said Simone Emmelius, ZDF SVP international fiction.
Tandem Productions and Taylor Kitsch are represented by CAA; Logan Marshall-Green by CAA and 3 Arts, Hall by UTA, Authentic Talent & Literary Management and Hamilton Hodell.
Mårlind is represented by Paradigm, Hoss by Players Agentur Management, Tuppence Middleton by Conway van Gelder Grant, Mala Emde by Agentur Schwartz and Sebastian Koch by Agentur Schlag.