EXCLUSIVE: Yitzhak Rabin, the former Israeli PM whose assassination in 1995 rocked the Middle East, will be the subject of a new high-end miniseries from Ariel Vromen, the Los Angeles-based Israeli filmmaker whose credits include the 2012 crime pic The Iceman.
The six-part show will be titled The Leader and is being adapted from the book The Rabin Memoirs, which was co-authored by Rabin with journalist Dov Goldstein. Vromen, who will write and direct, has been developing the pic and, working with Rabin’s family, has unearthed previously unseen archival footage and hundreds of hours of interviews (courtesy of the Rabin Center and the Rabin family), which will form a basis for the narrative show.
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The series will aim to present an intimate picture of the complex man, tracing his journey from pre-state underground fighter to Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Defence Minister and finally, the first Israeli-born Prime Minister. Each episode will focus on a pivotal moment in Rabin’s eventful career, revealing the hidden dramas behind the many life-and-death decisions he faced.
Vromen says he is picturing the series as a ‘mini Israeli The Crown’, in that it will be an in-depth look at one of Israel’s most influential figures. The project now has a completed outline and bible and is being taken to market ahead of casting, and the filmmaker says he is keeping an open mind as to where would be an appropriate home, though a streaming service seems likely.
“Israeli TV has been putting up a good fight for the last couple of years. Israeli content has reached a rich level where the original content is sold to big streamers, and the numbers are finally big,” he says on whether it could be set up in the country. “It would be good to do it in Israel but we are looking at the streamers as the best home for a miniseries.”
Vromen has a personal connection to Rabin, having once lived in a house on the same street as the former PM. “I grew up with Rabin, he was living two houses from me. It is an amazing story about a guy that was born in Israel who through his lifetime sacrificed everything he had and went on an amazing journey.”
It was Jonathan Benartzi, Rabin’s grandson, who approached Vromen about the project on behalf of his family. “For the first time in 25 years, our family has allowed access to private materials and family collections so that we’ll finally be able to dispel the myths and present an authentic, in-depth picture of this very exceptional man,” said Benartzi.
“I’m very honored and grateful to have the opportunity to tell the untold story of a man I’ve admired all my life. I want to thank the Rabin family for trusting in me to shed new light on the life and times of a truly legendary leader,” added Vromen.
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