EuropaCorp Sets ‘Taxi 5’; Endemol Shine Tunes Up ‘Big Music Quiz’ Deals – Global Briefs


Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has announced a fifth film in the Marseilles-set Taxi franchise. A release for Taxi 5 is set for January 31, 2018, Europa said via Twitter. Franck Gastambide is directing the latest installment and penning the script with Ahmed Hamidi, and the participation of Malik Bentalha. Gastambide directed and co-wrote Gaumont’s hit comedy Pattaya from earlier this year. He also starred with Bentalha and the duo is expected to lead the cast for the new Taxi. The franchise began in 1998 with Samy Naceri, Frédéric Diefenthal and Marion Cotillard starring. Gérard Pires directed the first film from a script by Besson about a pizza delivery man turned taxi driver who becomes embroiled in a bank robbery investigation. It was remade in 2004 by Tim Story and starred Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon and Gisele Bündchen. The rest of the feature series in France included films in 2000, 2003 and 2007 with all four movies selling over 25M tickets at home. A TV series adaptation also ran on NBC in 2014.

Big Music Quiz
As Mipcom nears, Endemol Shine Group has outlined a slate of programming to be proffered on the Riviera later this month. The Shine France-created Big Music Quiz has been ordered by Italy’s Rai 1. The musical game show will air in a four-part primetime run in December, produced by Shine Italy. Endemol Shine Netherlands has also been commissioned by RTL4 to produce eight primetime episodes to air in 2017. Big Music Quiz has now rolled out to five territories, having recently premiered in Australia and Germany. Also on deck for its international market premiere is Israeli game show Locked which has received a second season order on Reshet after ratings success this summer. The format sees contestants use skill and strategy to open an increasing number of locked doors. Endemol Shine is further debuting The Society Game, a reality format that explores contrasting societies, based on authoritarian rule and democracy models. The format was developed with ESG, South Korea’s CJ E&M and Endemol Shine Asia. The first season premieres in Korea primetime on TVN next month. Spelling Star, which made a splash at Mip-TV in April, is also on the slate and has been a hit in Australia and Thailand. It debuts soon in the UK.

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In further Mipcom-related news, ITV Studios Entertainment has made a series of executive appointments. Former Tuesday’s Child Head of Development Gail Harman has been hired as Creative Director, Development, joining Angela Jain’s team to lead the creation of new formats and entertainment shows. Simultaneously, Martin Lau has been appointed to Harman’s team as Development Executive. He was previously Senior Development Producer at NBCUniversal’s Tellycopter. Tom McLennan has been promoted to Director of Entertainment, North taking responsibility for ITV Studios’ slate of 800 hours of entertainment produced annually in the region including Judge Rinder, Countdown, University Challenge, The Jeremy Kyle Show and You’ve Been Framed. Harman’s credits include long-running shows Take Me Out, Eggheads and The Weakest Link.

British digital studio Wildseed has launched Wildseed Movies to develop and produce a series of microbuster genre features, which will be distributed directly to digital audiences. Productions on the slate are financed with the support of Pinewood Studios. Aimed at younger audiences, the films will air on international SVOD services and via fan-requested theatrical screenings. The first film is The Darkest Dawn, the sequel to cult hit Hungerford. The sci-fi horror pic follows two teenage sisters and their fight to survive an alien apocalypse. Directed by and starring Drew Casson, The Darkest Dawn introduces a new generation of YouTube stars including Bethan Leadley, Cherry Wallis and Stuart Ashen and is produced by Jesse Cleverly (Hungerford) and Miles Bullough (A Matter Of Loaf & Death) for Wildseed Studios. It releases beginning October 31.

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