Ewan McGregor, former “Star Wars” lead actor and a Golden Globe winner for series “Fargo,” will narrate “Stormborn,” an upcoming natural history series filmed in the actor’s native Scotland as well as Norway and Iceland. A trailer for the show has just been released.
The series, comprising three 50-minute episodes, features a cast of charismatic, tenacious animals trying to survive climate change and thriving in the remote, northern edges of the Atlantic Ocean over a year. It was commissioned by speciality channel Love Nature, and will have its world broadcast premiere on the service in November, after a theatrical screening at the Jackson Wild festival in the fall.
“Stormborn” is produced by Scotland-based Maramedia, in association with Smithsonian Channel, ARTE France, BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland. Blue Ant International is overseeing licensing for the series, which will be available at Mipcom.
Jackie Savery and Nigel Pope serve as executive producers and directors of the series. Alison Barrat, VP, development and production is executive producer on behalf of Love Nature. Executive producers for the Smithsonian Channel are Tria Thalman and David Royle.
McGregor previously narrated Maramedia’s documentaries “Hebrides: Islands on the Edge” and “Wild Shetland: Scotland’s Viking Frontier.” The coronavirus pandemic struck as “Stormborn” went into post. The actor’s narration during the pandemic was enabled by Vaudeville Studios in Los Angeles, which converted a caravan in his garden into a bespoke studio and patched him through to rural Scotland via a high-grade microphone and other sophisticated equipment.
“I was so happy to work with Nigel and Jackie again to narrate another breathtakingly beautiful series about the tough animals of the North,” said McGregor. “It’s special for me to do work that focuses on Scotland’s majesty and with Norway and Iceland included too it makes for such cinematic drama.”
The series commissioner is Carlyn Staudt, exec VP, Love Nature programming and development, who was very taken with the imagery pitched by Savery and Pope featuring an animal character led narrative, and the drama of wild landscapes complete with storms and crashing waves. “I was really excited to be able to dig in with Nigel and Jackie and bring that to fruition in its epic-ness,” Staudt tola Variety. “And that’s really what I want to do with Love Nature – elevate not only the visual into the cinematic, but also storytelling – to cross over natural history with drama.”
“That zone of linking Norway and Iceland and Scotland, which are geographically in a very close area; they are not countries that are normally grouped together. It’s an unusual cast,” Savery told Variety.
“It kind of resonates with the whole ‘Game of Thrones’ thing; we had a flavor of that in our minds in terms of the narrative structure, where you go between three worlds,” Pope told Variety. “Sometimes you run with a story through a whole episode or series, or sometimes you could just visit it once. And it’s worked pretty well. It feels seamless.”
Love Nature is available via its branded linear and streaming platforms in 114 countries on platforms including Sky, Roku, Amazon, Apple Plus, Rogers, Virgin, Starhub, Bell, Ziggo Vodafone, Tricolor, TVB MySuper TV, Startimes and many more.