Showtime has given a pilot order to hour-long dramedy Rita, based on Christian Torpe’s award-winning Danish series, with Emmy nominee Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) set to star and executive produce. Torpe will pen the pilot and serve as showrunner. Rita is a co-production of Showtime and Platform One Media.
In Rita, Headey will play the title character, a headstrong, unconventional teacher and single mother who takes on every kind of authority – as well as her family – in a messy and unfiltered way. Mille Denesen plays Rita in the Danish series.
Rita premiered in February 2012 on TV2 and has run for four seasons in Denmark and internationally on Netflix which was also a co-producer on the third and fourth season.
The pilot is executive produced by Torpe and Headey and Elisa Ellis for Platform One Media, which is headed by Katie O’Connell Marsh.
“Rita is a deliciously subversive character who will make you laugh and cry as she continuously challenges the hypocrisy around her,” Jana Winograde, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks said. “It goes without saying that Lena Headey is a force, whose essence is ideal to take on this wonderfully dynamic lead role.”
Headey is best known for her portrayal of Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, receiving multiple Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe nomination. Most recently, Headey can be seen in Stephen Merchant’s film Fighting with My Family, starring opposite Dwayne Johnson, Nick Frost, and Vince Vaughn.
Torpe, who also created horror series The Mist, has twice been nominated for Monte Carlo TV Festival awards for his work on the original Rita. Torpe also won the prestigious Bodil Award in his native country for the screenplay of Stille hjerte (Silent Heart), directed by Bille August. Through Motor, his European production company, Torpe currently has two series in production, and numerous films in active development. In addition, his feature film Blackbird starring Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet, directed by Roger Michel, will be released this fall.