The long-simmering “Sexy Beast” prequel series has evidently been resuscitated for the streamer after being scrapped for Paramount Network in 2020.
The U.K.-originated show, based on the cult classic film of the same name, centers on the characters of Gal Dove and Don Logan (originally played by Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley, respectively) as they descend into London’s criminal underbelly during the volatile 1990s.
Paramount Plus describes the series as “a love story between two men — à la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” It’s produced by Chapter One and VIS, with showrunner Michael Caleo (“The Sopranos”) attached.
Also heading to Paramount Plus out of the U.K. is an adaptation of the Amor Towles novel “A Gentleman in Moscow,” written by “All Creatures Great and Small” scribe Ben Vanstone.
Based on the best-selling novel by Towles, the drama series tells the story of Count Rostov who, in 1922, finds himself stuck in Moscow and on the wrong side of history. The Communist Party agrees to let him live but he’s never allowed to set foot outside the Metropole Hotel until the day he dies. The show is co-produced by VIS and Entertainment One.
Meanwhile, from Germany, Paramount Plus has greenlit “Simon Beckett’s The Chemistry of Death,” a psychological crime series based on Beckett’s bestselling novels, which follow forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter.
Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Sukey Venables Fisher (“Electricity”) and directed by Richard R. Clark (“War of the Worlds”), the series will be shot in the U.K. Producing partners are Nadcon Film and Cuba Pictures, in association with VIS.
Elsewhere, the streamer has commissioned second seasons for two shows out of Mexico: “Los Enviados” (“The Envoys”) and “Cecilia.”
The second season of “Los Enviados” finds priests Pedro Salinas (Luis Gerardo Méndez) and Simon Antequera (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) traveling to Spain to investigate an inexplicable miracle. While there, the priests unearth shocking secrets of the town’s history. In association with VIS, the series is produced by Oscar winner Juan José Campanella and his production company 100 Bares.
Season 2 of “Cecilia” begins after a fire destroys the family bakery, Pan Dulce, and Cecilia (Mariana Treviño) and her relatives begin the process of rebuilding it. Without a business to keep the family financially afloat, they will have to find another way to make ends meet, and family relationships are more tense than ever. The show is produced by VIS and Mediapro-backed Oficina Burman.
Additionally, following ViacomCBS’ strategic partnership with Korean production powerhouse CJ ENM, Paramount Plus has also greenlit “Yonder,” which will be available on the SVOD in Latin America, Canada and Australia, as well as in the U.K. and Germany, Switzerland and Austria upon launch. The series will premiere on CJ ENM’s streaming platform TVING in Korea later this year.
Set in 2032, “Yonder” is an unknown space designed for the dead to be able to live on by uploading memories of their lifetime from their brain. The story unfolds as a man receives a message from his deceased wife, inviting him to the unknown space.
The drama-sci-fi series raises questions about life and death and what it means to have eternal happiness as humanity comes face to face with a world created by advancements in science technology. The show is presented by TVING and ViacomCBS, and produced by Doodoong Pictures and CJ ENM. It is directed by Lee Joon-ik.
This initial slate of six shows forms part of the streamer’s plan to greenlight 50 international scripted shows in 2022. Almost all the titles announced on Tuesday as part of the company’s expansive Investors’ Day event — where it was announced that the ViacomCBS brand name would be retired in place of simply Paramount from Wednesday — are being developed and produced for the SVOD by ViacomCBS’ international studio, VIS, which operates in 20 countries and 15 languages.
Paramount Plus is already available in Latin America, Canada and Australia, and will this year launch in the U.K., France, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
Previously announced international scripted originals include “Bosé,” “Miss Fallaci Takes America,” “At Midnight” and “Not a Bride.” These join U.S. scripted originals such as “Fatal Attraction,” “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” and “Rabbit Hole.”
Outside of the U.S., the Paramount Plus offering encompasses kids’ content, reality, films and 2,500 hours of Paramount Plus Originals, as well as CBS and Showtime series, dramas and sitcoms. The service has also expanded its live sports offering outside the U.S. and Australia to include Central America and Mexico with the exclusive rights to the English Premier League.