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Rise Pictures, Simonsays Team Up on Dark Supernatural Comedy ‘Grim Inc.’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Simon Buchner, Tali Barde, Ulrich Schwarz
Simonsays Pictures/Rise Pictures/Avalon Film

Berlin-based Rise Pictures and Simonsays Pictures in Stuttgart are partnering on a new dark supernatural comedy series about a secretive, multinational corporation established by the Grim Reaper in an effort to more efficiently collect the souls of the dearly departed.

“Grim Inc.” revolves around the mysterious enterprise founded by Death some 70 years ago. At his limits following two world wars and facing the exponential population growth that reached unimaginable proportions in the 1950s, the industrious Grim Reaper decides to start the company and outsource his work.

“Grim Inc.” was created by Tali Barde, Claudio Franke, Dominik Hochwald and Katja Winke. Rise and Simonsays are producing in association with Barde’s Avalon Film in Cologne. Rise’s Ulrich Schwarz, Simonsays’ Simon Buchner and Barde will produce, with Tomy Wigand of Simonsays and Rise’s Sven Pannicke and Robert Pinnow executive producing.

The high-end German-language series combines a quirky, high-concept premise along the lines of NBC’s “The Good Place,” the suspense and depth of HBO’s “Barry” and the high-tech corporate gloss of Arte and Hulu’s “Bad Banks,” according to its producers.

“Laced with dry, black humor, the show will focus on the bizarre world of Death’s employees and get to the bottom of the most universal mysteries of human existence, rounded off with an imaginative and unconventional visual style and production design, and an atmospheric touch of noir,” said Schwarz.

Rise Pictures parent company Rise Visual Effects Studios will handle visual effects for what will be an effects-laden show. Rise’s VFX credits include such upcoming and recent productions as Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts 3,” Marvel’s “Loki,” HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

While still in the early stages, “Grim Inc.” has already secured development and early production coin from regional funders Filmstiftung NRW and MFG in Baden‐Württemberg.

“Grim Inc.” is the latest project from Rise Pictures, which is ramping up development on both the film and TV series front. It’s currently partnering with Uncharted Territory on the animated film “Igraine the Brave.” Recent productions also include Joe Pennna’s upcoming sci-fi thriller “Stowaway,” produced with XYZ Films and Augenschein Filmproduktion; the pic is set release in Germany via Wild Bunch and internationally on Netflix.

(Pictured: Simon Buchner, Tali Barde, Ulrich Schwarz)