The Mummy and Trust star is to front The Professionals, based on the Jeff Most-produced film, alongside Smallville’s Tom Welling, Wonder Woman’s Elena Anaya, John Wick 3’s Saïd Taghmaoui, Inglourious Basterds’ Ken Duken, Force Majeure’s Lisa Loven Kongsli and Das Boot’s August Wittgenstein.
The ten-part English-language series, which has just begun filming in South Africa and Ireland, was commissioned by Viaplay with German broadcaster RTL II pre-buying the free-TV rights.
The Professionals is set against a backdrop of international espionage and corporate sabotage in the 21st century’s privately-funded space race and follow Welling as a hardened former counterintelligence officer Captain Vincent Corbo. After their advanced medical satellite explodes on deployment, billionaire futurist Peter Swann, played by Fraser, and his fiancée, medical visionary Dr. Graciela “Grace” Davila, played by Anaya, turn to Corbo. Corbo assembles a team of experienced professionals to investigate the incident. They learn that any combination of Swann’s business rivals, corrupt governments officials, and a shadowy crime syndicate could be behind the attack and represent a continued threat. Duken plays a Europol agent seeking to thwart the security team’s efforts.
The first three episodes will be directed by Spooks: The Greater Good director Bharat Nalluri. The series was created by Jeff Most, who has produced features including The Crow and The Specialist and it is loosely based on Roadside Attractions’ feature film Soldiers of Fortune. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Face/Off producer and writer Michael Colleary will serve as the series’ showrunner and head writer with Katy Most, Lwazi Manzi and Aoife O’Sullivan producing alongside co-producers Kim Williams and Natalie McAuley and associate producer is Jessica Smith. Jeff Most, Tristan Orpen Lynch, Michael Auret, Howard Cohen, Eric d’Arbeloff, and Jennifer Berman exec produce alongside Herbert L. Kloiber, Thomas Augsberger, Cosima von Spreti, Daniel Wagner, Maxim Korostyshevsky, Bharat Nalluri, Fredrik Ljungberg, Brendan Fraser, Tom Welling and Elena Anaya.
The series is a production of Most Media, Subotica, Spier Films Production and Roadside Attractions in association with Jeff Most Productions, Highbridge Production, Tele München Group and Viaplay.
Tele München Group is handling worldwide sales via its subsidiary TM International, which are part of Fred Kogel’s new company, which brings together Tele München Group (TMG), Universum Film, i&u TV and Wiedemann & Berg Film. It will launch the series at Mipcom.
“This is the kind of television that couldn’t be more timely or topical as it imagines billionaires using their wealth to deploy private military units to achieve their political and business goals,” said Jeff Most.
Roadside Attractions’ Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff added, “We could not be more thrilled about the cast and creative team behind The Professionals. This is the second series, the first being Lionsgate TV’s Dear White People on Netflix, that we’ve helped bring to television based on one of Roadside’s theatrical releases.”
Herbert L. Kloiber, managing director of TM International, said, “With this incredible international cast, this is the kind of action series that has enormous global appeal and we have already seen interest for The Professionals overseas. We are very excited about the way this series has come together and are looking forward to strong activity from now on up until Mipcom.”
Viaplay’s Fredrik Ljungberg added, “Given where we are with the privatization of corporate space exploration and with the world class production companies and marquis named cast involved on The Professionals, this series had all the outstanding elements that made this an excellent programming choice for the team at Viaplay.”
Fraser is represented by Stephen Hirsh from The Gersh Agency, JoAnne Colonna from Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Patti Felker from Felker Toczek Suddelson Abramson. Welling and Taghmaoui are both represented by David Unger at Artist International, while Taghmaoui is also looked after by Kimberly Hines at Framework Entertainment. Anaya is represented by Steve Alexander from ICM and Katrina Bayonas from Kuranda Management. Duken is repped by Ruth A. Young from United Agents and Harriet Hahlweg from Agentur Hahlweg. Wittgenstein is represented by Laura Munsterhjelm from Actors in Scandinavia.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.