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PRODUCTION / FUNDING USA / France / Germany / Italy

Paramount+ invests in local content in Europe and worldwide

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- The US-based streaming giant has announced four European series projects and its plans to commission 150 international original productions by 2025

Paramount+ invests in local content in Europe and worldwide
CIRCEO by Andrea Molaioli (© Paramount+)

On 20 June, two days before its launch in the UK and Ireland, Paramount+ announced its investment in international original content with a slate of series that will debut around the world, as part of the studio’s strategy to commission 150 international originals by 2025. The news comes in advance of Paramount+’s expansion into the UK and Ireland on 22 June, Italy in September, and Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France in December.

The originals will be produced in partnership with VIS, Paramount’s international studio, a division of the company’s vast worldwide studio footprint that spans more than 20 countries.

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The news follows the streamer’s previous announcement of originals, including the European productions Sexy Beast (UK), A Gentleman in Moscow (UK), The Chemistry of Death (Germany), Bosé (Spain – see the news), Fallaci (Italy), The Signal (France) and Impact (France).

“Paramount’s story began with the longest-running studio in Hollywood, and today, we span the globe with our worldwide production studios that create hits for audiences around the world, which now all live in one place: Paramount+. As the service continues to expand internationally, there’s a great opportunity for content to travel globally, opening up a world of opportunities for talent and creators as we plan to commission 150 international originals by 2025, while delivering incredible value to subscribers on Paramount+,” said Marco Nobili, the streamer’s executive vice-president and international general manager.

The new slate includes four new European titles. The first project is MASK: Marie Antoinette Serial Killer (France), an “eight-hour young-adult fantasy horror-thriller” created and developed by executive producers Beth Tapper and Mitch Watson. Based on the book Marie Antoinette Serial Killer by Katie Alender, the series follows four young US girls on their spring break in Paris. While exploring the edgy side of the city, they find themselves caught up in a mysterious, almost supernatural murder spree that soon becomes very personal. Currently in advanced development, the series is being staged by Cottonwood Media and VIS. It will debut exclusively on Paramount+ in France and all international markets.

Next up is A Thin Line (Germany), which centres on young “hacktivist” twin sisters Anna (Saskia Rosendahl) and Benni (Hanna Hilsdorf), who are inseparable in their quest to expose environmental wrongdoing by any means necessary. But when their hack into a government server leads to a police raid, Anna is captured and Benni disappears into the underground. The series is being produced by Weydemann Bros. Serial Drama in association with VIS, to debut exclusively on Paramount+ in all international markets.

The third title, The Sheikh, is also a German production. Inspired by true events, it tells the story of a one-of-a-kind con artist, Ringo (Björn Meyer), a simple man ridiculed as the village idiot who reinvents himself as the heir to an Arabic fortune. With nothing but a bunch of tall tales and a fabricated $8 billion bank statement, he becomes every Swiss investor’s dream, bringing the country’s political and economic system to the brink of a national crisis. The Sheikh is created and penned by Dani Levy, who directs together with Johannes Naber. It is being produced by X Filme Creative Pool and VIS, to debut exclusively on Paramount+ in all international markets.

The fourth project, an Italian production, is titled CIRCEO. It tells the story of the aftermath of the crime that came to be known as “The Circeo Massacre”, which turned Italy upside down in the 1970s. Focusing on the trial that followed and the sole surviving victim, Donatella, the series reflects on a watershed moment in the path of the emancipation of Italian women, demanding (and eventually obtaining) the wholesale revision of laws on sexual violence. CIRCEO is penned by Flaminia Gressi, Viola Rispoli and Lisa Nur Sultan, with Andrea Molaioli at the helm. Producing is Cattleya in partnership with VIS for Paramount+ and Rai in Italy. It will also debut on Paramount+ in France, and in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

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