Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, who segues between Hollywood and home-based projects, is set to direct and produce serialized crime series Trapped in his native country. From Kormakur’s RVK Studios, it’s based on his original idea and written by Sigurjon Kjartansson and Clive Bradley. Trapped follows the investigation of the grisly murder of an unidentifiable man found in the water after an international ferry arrives in a small town at the bottom of a fjord. Soon after, a powerful blizzard hits the town with deadly force, making the only road in or out impassable. The 10-part series, the most ambitious Icelandic commission ever ordered, will air locally on public broadcaster RUV. RVK’s Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson is also producing and RVX, the effects arm of RVK, will design the VFX. Dynamic Television’s Daniel March and Klaus Zimmermann are executive producers and are handling worldwide distribution. Kormakur, whose The Deep was shortlisted for the Foreign Language Oscar in 2012, is currently directing Everest for Universal, Cross Creek Pictures and Working Title Films.
The deals keep coming for Keshet International’s explosive new format, Boom! After kicking off the market with a sale to France’s TF1, followed by another with Fox in the U.S., it was Spain’s turn today to sign up for the ticking time bomb quiz show. Artesmedia has acquired Boom!, which Keshet says became the most watched game show ever in Israel when it debuted last week. Boom! was created by Keshet, Ido Rozenblum and July August Productions.
FremantleMedia is partnering with format creator Dick De Rijk in an exclusive multi-year co-development deal. De Rijk, who has previously partnered with John de Mol, Endemol and Red Arrow International, has created such formats as Deal Or No Deal, Set For Life, Show Me The Money and You Deserve It. The latter was produced by Kinetic Content for ABC in 2011. Fremantle’s Global Entertainment Development team will work with De Rijk on what they’re aiming to be a new generation of internationally adaptable game and entertainment formats.
Japanese premium pay-TV broadcaster WOWOW has boarded Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s documentary The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument. WOWOW joins HBO Documentary Films, BBC Arena and Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions as a co-production partner. Cinephil is handling international sales and is introducing the project to international buyers here at Mip. The doc will reveal the inner workings of the publication from its birth during the 1963 New York Times strike, through its continued relevance in today’s digital universe. Making use of rare footage and photographs, the film includes writers like James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, Noam Chomsky and Norman Mailer; along with new footage of Joan Didion, Michael Chabon, Mary Beard, and Timothy Garton Ash. Margaret Bodde is producing with Scorsese and Tedeschi. Kayo Washio, who runs WOWOW’s Los Angeles office, is executive producer for WOWOW, Anthony Wall is executive producer for BBC Arena.
Shooting has begun on 10-part English-language original series Occupied, a political thriller based on an idea by bestselling Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbø. Set in a not so distant future where Russia has staged a “silk-glove” invasion of Norway to officially secure the oil import for the rest of the world, the series looks at themes of loyalty to oneself, one’s family and one’s country. Millennium Trilogy producer Yellow Bird, GTV, TV2 Norway and Arte are co-producers. Zodiak Rights is currently at Mip handling world sales outside Scandinavia. Erik Skoldbjaerg (Prozac Nation, Pioneer), Charlotte Brandström (Wallander), Pål Sletaune, Erik Richter Strand and John Andreas Andersen are directing. The cast includes Lilyhammer‘s Henrik Mestad, Ane Dahl Torp (Dead Snow), Eldar Skar and Selome Emnetu. Karianne Lund (Alle For En) is headwriter.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has pacted to distribute Star China’s primetime entertainment series, Sing My Song. This is the first time that an original Chinese talent show format has been exported internationally. Sing My Song is a studio-based music contest that searches for the best original songs in the nation. Four of the industry’s most accomplished singer-songwriters share their experience and expertise as producer-judges, providing feedback and guidance to the contestants. The judges also have an important goal: each is scouting for songs to be part of their own original music album. The series aired on China’s CCTV-3 earlier this year, reaching 480 million viewers with a total audience share of 37%.
Also in China, BBC Worldwide has entered into two deals in the greater region. The new pacts are with TVB, the primary free-to-air TV broadcaster in Hong Kong, and internet giant Tencent. BBC Worldwide will provide natural history and factual titles to TVB starting in the second quarter of this year. Some entertainment programming is also in the mix, including Sherlock’s third season. BBCW is also providing over 60 natural history and factual titles to Tencent’s VOD service including Frozen Planet. The shows will be available from this month.