Apple TV Plus has ordered its first Russian-language original series, “Container,” Variety can exclusively reveal.
The series, which comes via a co-production deal with subscription-based streaming service START, is a thriller starring “The Bourne Supremacy’s” Oksana Akinshina alongside Russian screen stars Filipp Yankovskiy (“The Three Musketeers”), Marusya Fomina (“Gold Diggers”) and Artem Bystrov (“Earthquake”).
Described as “bold” and “unflinching,” the series sees Akinshina play Sasha, a surrogate mother hiding a dangerous secret who reluctantly finds herself ensconced in the luxurious home of the rich family whose baby she is gestating. As Sasha navigates the privilege and politics of the super-rich, both her secrets and theirs threaten to collide.
The series was directed by Maksim Sveshnikov (“257 Reasons to Live”) from a screenplay written by Alexey Lyapichev (“257 Reasons to Live”). It is produced by Eduard Iloyan, Vitaly Shlyappo, Alexey Trotsyuk, Denis Zhalinsky and Mikhail Tkachenko.
“Container” premiered in Russia and CIS on START in September and will come to Apple TV Plus in spring 2022.
The series marks the U.S. streamer’s latest foray into Russian-language content, having signed a first-look deal with Alexander Rodnyansky’s production company AR Content in July. Under the terms of the agreement, LA-based AR Content will deliver a slate of Russian-language and multi-language shows to Apple.
Apple has cast its eye across the globe in search of delivering premium storytelling. Already on its service are shows such as Israeli series “Tehran,” which recently won the International Emmy for best drama series, and Korean language series “Dr. Brain.”
Upcoming shows include U.K.-based “Masters of the Air,” which is executive produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, together with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone; “Slow Horses,” starring Gary Oldman; and bilingual thriller “Now and Then” from Bambú Producciones and creators Ramón Campos, Teresa Fernández-Valdés and Gema R. Neira.