In a competitive situation with broadcast and streaming networks pursuing, CBS has landed action drama The International, which reunites The Expendables and Rocky IV co-stars Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren.
The show, starring and produced by Lundgren and directed and executive produced by Stallone, hails from Tony Krantz’s Flame Ventures, Stallone’s Balboa Productions and CBS TV Studios.
Written by drama veteran Ken Sanzel (Reef Break, Numbers), The International centers on Anders Soto (Lundgren). Part negotiator, part international spy, Anders is a one-man covert black-ops team working for the U.N. who is called in to find asymmetrical solutions to the world’s most delicate and complex problems.
Sanzel is executive producer and showrunner. Also executive producing are Krantz via Flame; Stallone and his partner in Balboa Productions, Braden Aftergood; as well as Lundgren’s manager, Craig Baumgarten from Zero Gravity. Lundgren is a producer.
“Myself and Balboa Productions are so proud to announce this incredible new show called The International,” Stallone wrote on Instagram in August, following Deadline’s exclusive story about the project. “It’s going to be fantastic working with my old hard punching friend @dolphlundgren!”
Global action icons Stallone and Lundgren have a long history together. Swedish actor Lundgren played Drago opposite Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV as well as the recent sequel Creed II. Stallone also recruited Lundgren for his hit The Expendables action franchise.
Stallone is coming off headlining and co-writing the latest chapter in another blockbuster action franchise he originated, Rambo V: Last Blood. Lundgren recently co-starred in Warner Bros’ DC tentpole Aquaman and recurred on the CW’s Arrow.
Flame recently received a series order from Starz for a Dangerous Liaisons reboot.
This marks Sanzel’s return to CBS, where he ran the long-running crime procedural drama Numbers. He most recently created the ABC Studios International crime drama series Reef Break, starring Poppy Montgomery, which he executive produces for ABC and France’s M6.
Lundgren is repped by Gersh’s Brett Norensberg, who played a key role in putting the project together. Stallone and Flame are repped by CAA. Sanzel is repped by Field Entertainment.