Christopher Eccleston has joined the cast of comedy Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back), written and directed by Tom Edmunds. He’ll star alongside Tom Wilkinson, Aneurin Barnard and Marion Bailey. Freya Mavor, Nigel Lindsay, Gethin Anthony and Velibor Topic have also been added to the title, which is being edited by Tariq Anwar. Daniel-Konrad Cooper and Nick Clark Windo produce. Story follows a man who, after several unsuccessful suicide attempts, hires an aging hitman on the brink of retirement to do the job for him. But with the contract signed and death assured within a week (or his money back), he finally discovers a reason to live. The hitman’s boss has other ideas.
As it looks to build a leading independent premium content platform, nascent Special Purpose Acquisition Company, Mediawan, has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire French producer/distributor/aggregator Groupe AB for 270M euros ($289M). Mediawan was founded in April 2016 by investors Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse and is listed on Paris’ Euronext. It is looking to target companies who have principal operations in the traditional and digital media content and entertainment industries in Europe. The plan is to create an independent platform, setting up a strong position to negotiate distribution terms in a changing landscape. The 40-year-old Groupe AB operates in French-speaking Europe and is currently majority-owned by its founder Claude Berda, along with TF1 and the management team. Its in-house productions include popular dramas Section De Recherches and Alice Nevers. It also distributes Friends and licenses Canal+’s Spiral. Mediawan will take the acquisition to a shareholder vote at a special meeting on March 13.
MTG’s Nordic streaming service Viaplay and Sweden and Denmark’s TV3 have ordered The Lawyer, a crime drama created by author and attorney Jens Lapidus (Easy Money), The Bridge’s Hans Rosenfeldt and Michael Hjorth (Sebastian Bergman). The 10-episode thriller follows a Swedish defense lawyer (Tyrant’s Alexander Karim) and his descent into the Copenhagen underworld. When he discovers that the firm’s most important client is responsible for the murder of his parents, the lawyer is drawn into a life-threatening web of violence and revenge. Nicklas Wikström Nicastro, producer of Foreign Language Oscar nominee A Man Called Ove and Joakim Hansson (Johan Falk) will produce The Lawyer for SF Studios Production, with Studiocanal handling international distribution.