Lemming Film, one of the Netherlands’ leading international co-production outlets, has brought its newest project, “Greed,” to Conecta Fiction’s Pitch Copro Series.
Spearheaded by up-and-coming director Eché Janga and leading screenwriter Oscar van Woensel, the six-episode horror-drama will follow a tight-knit group of Rotterdam restaurant workers who are offered all the money they could ever need, only to learn of the many dangerous strings attached.
In the first few episodes, seven working-class restaurateurs will see their dreams come true when millions of Euros get dropped off at their feet. But soon, those dreams curdle to nightmares when a mysterious group of men wearing deer masks turn up, demanding reciprocity for their financial largesse.
With a hard partying, twenty-and-thirty-something cast of characters and a gritty visual approach, “Greed” is pitched towards the same genre audience Lemming has sought to cultivate with its crime thriller “Fenix” and its upcoming vampire drama “Heirs of the Night.”
Lemming co-CEO and series chief Fleur Winters spoke with Variety about her latest venture ahead of the Conecta pitch session.
How would you describe the project in brief?
It’s going to be fast-paced show, aiming for viewers between the ages of 16 and 45. It’s probably going to be an SVOD or platform show, rather than a public broadcast title. I’m not excluding broadcast; that’s just my gut feeling. It’s a unique idea, because there aren’t many purely psychological horror series. Other horror series play up the slasher or fantasy elements, but we’re trying to focus on a central idea: What would you do if a bag of money ends up on your doorstep? Would you grab the opportunity, even if it could turn everything in your life upside down, making it a nightmare?
What other projects influenced “Greed?”
There aren’t many similar series. We’re closer to films like ‘The Experiment” and “Cube” – films that take a small group and put them under a lot of pressure. [In both films] the characters are given challenges that play with their minds, and we can see how group pressure changes everything. Our series follows a similar path; it’s very much like a psychological experiment. It’s not a very uplifting mood – but it’s not unrealistic. It’s more psychological horror, about how you can trick the mind.
Is this a limited series or something intended to run several seasons?
We could continue for more seasons, though we’re really focused on Season 1 right now. We haven’t worked out the specifics yet, but there are many ways to continue with these characters and follow their lives after. So that could be one route, or we could go the other direction and focus on the men with deer masks, and actually learn more about them. At one point in the show we see that another group has been put in this situation before – the men in masks have repeatedly challenged people before.
In fact, you will not address the real identities of the masked men in Season 2. Why is that?
Our world revolves around money. Everybody dreams of winning the lottery or finding a bag of money that would give them complete freedom. And so in our philosophy, those masked figures are [larger] representations of capitalism, or how money is driven. The show’s main theme is the assumption that money could give you complete freedom, while in actuality it can be the biggest prison. For the first three episodes the viewers are constantly meant to wonder what they would do with such money, just like the characters. But then as soon as they do accept, these figures emerge and twist the narrative and push the characters to do the very worst things you could imagine.