EXCLUSIVE: Imagine a world where humans lose the capacity to store long-term recollections and instead are issued a government memory chip. This is the world of In Memoriam, a new drama in development at HBO Max.
Produced by Buccaneer Media, whose Anna Friel-fronted drama Marcella is in its third season at Netflix, and Participant, the thriller is a returnable, serialised series set in the UK.
Miles, who was the Channel 4 Playwright-in-Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2017, writes and Oplev, who also helmed the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie, directs.
The story is set in the near future. Whilst humanity was busy uploading photos to the cloud and digitising every book ever written, the human brain was quietly evolving, and we lost the capacity to store long-term memory. But Britain’s National Health Service developed the cure: a government-issued memory chip. When 17-year-old Somalia finds her mum dead on their living room floor, she makes an unprecedented, and criminal, decision to implant her mother’s memory chip. Somalia’s search for identity sends her spiraling into an underground world of digital militants and authoritarian dispute, until she finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy; one that will unite her mother’s past and the dark origins of this scientific breakthrough.
Executive Producers are Richard Tulk-Hart, Tony Wood and Anna Burns for Buccaneer Media and Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite.
It is Participant’s latest TV series following Steve James’ 10-part docuseries America to Me, and Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited drama series, When They See Us.
Buccaneer currently has projects in development with partners including ITV, Viaplay and Netflix and is working with talent including Lars Lundström, Irvine Welsh, Dougray Scott and Baltasar Kormakur.
Charley Miles said, “In Memoriam explores what happens when something that is so essential to the human condition becomes commoditised. It’s about power and politics, but we navigate this anarchic minefield with a 17-year-old girl as our beacon. I’m thrilled to be working with so many brilliant people on this project: the wonderfully supportive teams at Buccaneer and Participant, and Niels – whose work I’ve been a long admirer of, and who has already proven such a generous, insightful collaborator.”
Anna Burns, Development Producer at Buccaneer Media, added, “Charley is a searing new talent with a huge career ahead of her. The combination of her voice with Niels’ extraordinary vision for the show will, we believe, make for explosive TV. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be developing this very unique show with our friends at Participant.”
David Linde, Participant CEO, said, “We are excited to be collaborating with such an incredible group of people in bringing this new and thrilling story to audiences worldwide. In Memoriam is the ideal addition to Participant’s growing slate of episodic television as it explores socially relevant issues in unexpected and exciting ways.”
Miles is represented by Marnie Podos at Under New Mgmt, with whom she initially conceived and developed the pilot script. Oplev is represented by agent Paul Alan Smith at New Deal Mfg. Co. His manager is Robert Lazar at Marathon Management; Nick Marston from Curtis/Brown is his UK agent.