The pair are joining Tatiana Pauhofová (Burning Bush) in the six-part drama, which was previously known as Oblivious. The series, which is set in 1980s Prague, has started production in the Czech capital with additional filming in London.
It was written by newcomer Ondřej Gabriel, who studied political science at Prague’s Charles University before becoming a playwright, and directed by Ivan Zacharias, the Czech filmmaker behind HBO Europe’s Wasteland.
Pauhofová plays Marie, who fled Communist Czechoslovakia with her political dissident husband Viktor. Now it is 1989, change is in the air and they take advantage of an amnesty to return to their home country. But soon after they arrive they are hit by a car: when Marie wakes her husband has disappeared, and nobody seems to know anything about him. Where is Viktor?
The Sleepers is set to premiere on HBO Europe in late 2019, the year that marks the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, and will air in the U.S. via HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO On Demand.
Executive Producers are Tereza Polachova and Steve Matthews. Jan Bílek produces for Etamp Film.
Antony Root, HBO Europe’s Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Production, said, “We’re delighted to have such a strong team both in-front-of and behind the camera to bring this original, international spy story to life. Set at a pivotal moment in Central European history, Ondrej’s script also has startling relevance in today’s global political climate, while Ivan brings the story, period and characters to life with his inimitable authenticity and style.”
Polachova added, “Although taking place in the 1980s, this is a story that has a lot to say about the present once-again divided world we live in. Told from the point of view of Marie it’s also a female take on a usually predominantly male genre. Telling a spy story from the point of view of an average woman made this a fascinating, compelling and irresistible drama for us – and, we believe, will do for audiences too.”