“The Batman” actor Andy Serkis is set to showrun and direct “Madame!,” an epic period series about the life of Marie Tussaud, the visionary French artist known for her wax sculptures and the world-famous museum Madame Tussauds.
Newen Connect, the distribution arm of TF1 Group-owned Newen Studios, has signed a deal with Imaginarium Productions, the company founded by Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish, to co-develop and distribute the series which Serkis created. Cavendish will produce alongside Marie Guillaumond at Felicita Films.
The compelling series will shed light on this ruthless yet pioneering business woman who built her business, starting in 18th century Paris, during the age of enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, before travelling to England.
“This is no straight up period drama, it is a hilariously crazy, no holds barred, anarchic, punk caper conjured from the curiously twisted mind of a fabulously post-truth executioner’s daughter!,” said Serkis. “Marie knows one thing very clearly — if you’re going to tell your own life story, make it entertaining, even if you have to make it up, and whatever happens, cut out the boring bits.”
Alongside his illustrious acting career, Serkis is an accomplished director whose credits include “Breathe” with Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle,” and most recently “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” for Sony Pictures. Other the directorial slate for Serkis is an animated adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel “Animal Farm.”
Rodolphe Buet, CEO of Newen Connect, said the series “depicts a visionary heroine who shook up conventions in the 18th century and whose journey as a strong independent woman managing to build an empire resonates particularly nowadays.”
Buet also pointed that partnering up with The Imaginarium UK “anchors the strategy of Newen Connect to support producers in the development and research of financing for ambitious co-production projects.”
Imaginarium’s TV credits include “Fungus the Bogeyman” and the upcoming “The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself,” while films include “The Ritual” for Netflix, and Taika Waititi’s upcoming “Next Goal Wins.”
Guillaumond, who is co-producing the series, previously worked as TF1’s head of drama and launched her own production company Felicita Films in 2019.