Aiming to ramp up its premium international content, Amazon Prime Video has greenlit the production of 17 new original series from Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, Japan and Mexico.
These include “The Power,” a British contemporary thriller based on Naomi Alderman’s bestselling science-fiction novel; “El Presidente,” a Mexican crime series inspired by the 2015 corruption scandal that engulfed world soccer body FIFA ; “We Children of Bahnhof Zoo,” a German series based on the 1978 controversial autobiographical book by the same name; “The Last Hour,” an Indian supernatural crime thriller set in the Himalayas; and an untitled social issue series produced by Vice Media Japan, which will mark the first collaboration between Vice and Amazon Prime Video.
“We know that customers watching Prime Video everywhere want to see authentic stories, set in their own countries, and to invest in characters that can reflect their own experiences and diversity,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “We’re excited and committed to amplifying the voices of storytellers from all over the world and to bring their visions to life for our viewers worldwide.”
James Farrell, the head of international originals, said that Amazon’s worldwide audience is “thirsty for local shows from the best local voices.” He said there had already been “great customer reaction” to such series as the automotive show “The Grand Tour,” the behind-the-scenes soccer series “All or Nothing: Manchester City” and Germany’s “You Are Wanted.”
Among the new commissions, “The Power” is a 10-part series based on the book of the same name by Alderman (pictured), which imagines a world in which men fear women rather than vice versa. The show is executive-produced by JAlderman, Jane Featherstone (“Broadchurch”), Naomi de Pear (“The Bisexual”) and Reed Morano (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), who will also direct. The series is produced by Tim Bricknell (“Trust”) and will be shot on location around the world.
“El Presidente” is produced by Oscar‐winning director Pablo Larrain and Juan de Dios production company Fabula (“Jackie,” “A Fantastic Woman”) and Gaumont (“Narcos”). The true crime series explores the FIFA corruption scandal from the angle of a small‐time Chilean football club president who rises from obscurity to become a key player in a $150 million bribery conspiracy. “El Presidente” will go into production next year.
“We Children of Bahnhof Zoo” (“Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”) is written by Annette Hess (“Weissensee”) and tells the story of Christiane F. and her dysfunctional friends who, as teenagers, found themselves confronted with drugs in West Berlin in 1970. (The autobiographical book inspired the 1981 film “Christiane F.”) The new series is being produced by Oliver Berben (“Perfume”) and Sophie von Uslar (“NSU – German History X”) for Constantin Television. The series will be directed by Philipp Kadelbach and will go into production later this year for a release on Prime Video in Germany.
“The Last Hour,” out of India, is a supernatural thriller set in a Himalayan hill station. It is created by Amit Kumar (“Monsoon Shootout”) and executive produced by Asif Kapadia (“Amy”).
Amazon Prime Video has also greenlit its first Italian original series, which will be written by Nicola Guaglianone and Menotti. The untitled series is a crime drama set in Milan in the late 1980s and tells the story of a shy, insecure teenager who becomes the youngest member of the mafia in order to win the love of her father. The series is being produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani’s Wildside for Amazon Studios. Shooting will begin later this year.