The director, who is currently directing The Sopranos’ prequel The Many Saints of Newark, will work on the series, which is being produced by Intaglio Films and ndF International Production for German broadcaster ZDF.
The eight-part series will start shooting in early 2020 and is the first first drama to emerge from Doelger’s nascent Intaglio Films.
Taylor has previously worked with Doelger on GoT and has also helmed episodes of Deadwood, Sex and the City and Boardwalk Empire.
The Swarm, based on Frank Schaetzing’s book, is a global environmental thriller set in a present day where anomalies and unnatural behavior in marine animals are causing upheaval all over the world. Millions of strange worms suddenly appear on the bottom of the North Sea, drilling their way through frozen methane, threatening to destabilize the entire continental shelf. Swarms of mussels stop large vessels from maneuvering. Toxic jellyfish, lobsters and whales start attacking human beings along the coasts of the world. It follows a global group of scientists and military who come together to tackle one of the biggest challenges mankind has ever faced. They make the chilling discovery that we are not the only intelligent species on this planet – and that deep down at the bottom of the sea resides a collective intelligence which has suffered the ravages of civilization on its habitat and decided to fight back.
It is exec produced by Doelger, Schaetzing and Eric Welbers. Intaglio Films, a new German TV production company designed to produce English-language drama for the international market, is a joint venture between Babylon Berlin producer Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of the German public broadcaster.
Doelger was a producer on season one of HBO’s epic fantasy hit, moving up to exec producer from season two and has also worked on HBO series including Rome and John Adams. He previously worked with Beta to develop fantasy drama The Perished Land.
Shot in English, the series, will launch at Mip TV with additional broadcasting partners announced soon.
The Swarm will be featured as part of MIPTV’s In Development strand with Doelger, Eric Welbers and Frank Zervos. The panel will focus on adapting The Swarm from a best-selling novel into an international drama series and the team’s experience turning the book’s unique themes and gripping story into eight thrilling episodes.
Taylor said, “We all now are living at a time where there is a tremendous amount of material out there. It is rare to come across a show that is global in scale and yet really functions at an emotional and character level, while being highly relevant to what we are wrestling with today. It’s amazing material with the structure of a thriller. It builds towards an ending which I find devastating and transcendent, all at the same time. I’m very grateful to be a part of this.”
Intaglio’s Frank Doelger added: “We’re delighted that a director of Alan Taylor’s calibre is joining the talented team working on The Swarm. With Alan helming this epic-scale production – which is both immensely timely and gripping – and bringing his creative leadership and vision, we’re confident The Swarm will resonate with audiences both in Germany and globally.”