Amazon has given a straight-to-series order to an adaptation of David Cronenberg film “Dead Ringers” with Rachel Weisz attached to star and executive produce, Variety has learned.
In the original film, which debuted in 1988, Jeremy Irons played twin gynecologists who both begin a relationship with the same woman. In the series version, Weisz will play the double lead role of the Mantle twins. They share everything: drugs, lovers, and an unapologetic desire to do whatever it takes — including pushing the boundaries on medical ethics — in an effort to challenge antiquated practices and bring women’s healthcare to the forefront.
“As one of today’s most accomplished and versatile actresses, Rachel Weisz will captivate the Amazon Prime Video global audience with her take on these two ruthless, twisted characters,” said Albert Cheng, COO and co-head of television for Amazon Studios. “This update to ‘Dead Ringers’ explores the darker side of medicine, obsession, and the human condition, making it a compelling addition to our slate of Amazon Original series.”
Weisz came up with the idea for the series and brought it to Annapurna Television. Alice Birch, fresh off her time writing on “Normal People” at Hulu, is attached to write and executive produce. Stacy O’Neil also executive produces along with Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, and Ali Krug for Annapurna Television. James G. Robinson, David Robinson, and Barbara Wall will executive produce for Morgan Creek, which produced the film. Amazon and Annapurna Television will produce.
“I am so lucky to have such brilliant partners in Annapurna and Amazon Studios, and I’m thrilled to be collaborating with the exceptionally talented Alice Birch,” Weisz said. “I can’t wait to go on this journey with all of them.”
The role will mark the first regular television role of Weisz’s career. She previously won the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in the 2005 film “The Constant Gardner.” She was nominated in the same category last year for her role in “The Favourite.” Weisz’s other film roles include “My Cousin Rachel,” “The Mummy,” “The Lobster,” “Constantine,” and “The Fountain.”
She is repped by WME in the U.S., Independent Talent Group in the U.K., Linden Entertainment, and Hirsch Wallerstein.
Birch recently picked up her first Emmy nomination for best writing for a limited series for her work on “Normal People.” She and “Normal People” author Sally Rooney are also set to collaborate again on the upcoming Hulu series “Conversations With Friends,” which is also based on a novel by Rooney.
Birch is repped by UTA in the U.S. and United Agents in the U.K.
“This series is a thrilling tale about ambition, self-interest, and the manipulation of power,” said Naegle, Annapurna’s chief content officer. “Rachel’s unequivocal depth as an actor make her the perfect person to bring the new Mantle twins to life in Alice’s fresh take on the original, which will no doubt be even more twisted.”