Kian Lawley, who was dropped from movie “The Hate U Give” last year after a video resurfaced of him that included racist comments, has landed a starring role alongside Katherine C. Hughes (“Blue Bloods”) in the Finnish comedy “Perfect Commando.” The series is the latest original for Elisa Viihde’s Aitio streaming service, and will be distributed internationally by Red Arrow Studios.
Lawley is a YouTube star with 3.4 million followers of his SuperKian13 YouTube channel. He also stars in AwesomenessTV series “Zac & Mia.” In the 10-part “Perfect Commando,” he will play Van, who has been living in California and makes a trip to his mother’s home country of Finland. With dual American-Finnish citizenship, he finds himself thrown into military service, setting up a fish-out-of-water comedy about a privileged kid from L.A. surviving life in the army barracks with a bunch of oddballs.
The English- and Finnish-language will be produced by Fire Monkey. As well as the U.S. names, it will also feature an established cast of Finnish actors, including Johannes Holopainen (“All the Sins”), Fanni Noroila (“HasBeen”), and Tommi Korpela (“Bullets”). Filming starts at the end of the month.
International drama is increasingly popular, and Finland has an emerging profile as a home of scripted series. “’Perfect Commando’ is the first Finnish comedy series to be co-financed by an international distributor right from its inception,” said Ani Korpela, head of content at Elisa Viihde. “Our slate of original series are our most popular content, so it’s fantastic to be involved in developing such high-quality drama and comedy shows that meet international standards.”