MIPCOM: 'Perfume' Series to Begin Shoot Next Year

Tom Tykwer's film adaptation of 'Perfume' was an international hit.

The drama series, inspired by Patrick Suskind's best-seller, will shift the action of the 18th-century serial killer drama to the present day.

Constantin Film is moving ahead with its TV adaptation of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

Oliver Berben, managing director of production at the German mini-major, told THR that shooting on the series, inspired by Patrick Suskind's best-selling novel of the same name, is set to begin next year.

Constantin produced the 2006 film adaptation of Perfume, which Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas) directed. The film was an international hit, grossing more than $135 million worldwide, including some $53 million in Germany alone.

The film, and the novel, are set in 18th-century France and follow Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (played in the movie by Ben Whishaw), a man with a superhuman sense of smell who becomes the world's greatest perfumer. But he becomes obsessed with creating the perfect perfume and begins killing beautiful young women to distil their olfactory essence.

Constantin's TV version will take the book's core ideas of a scent-obsessed serial killer and the use of smell to control emotions but will shift the action to present-day Germany. It will be set in an international boarding school where young women begin turning up dead, murdered in a way eerily similar to the manner described in Suskind's book.

Constantin is planning a six- to eight-episode limited series with an open ending to allow possible serialization. Berben said the show is being developed in German and that Constantin is in negotiations with national broadcasters and SVOD players to close financing. Beta Film has come on board to co-finance the series and will handle international sales. 

Constantin last year announced plans to adapt several of its feature film properties for the small screen. Its first film-to-series effort, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, based on Cassandra Clare’s best-selling YA franchise, has its world premiere at MIPCOM this week. ABC Family has acquired Shadowhunters for the U.S. Constantin is also developing a small-screen spin-off of its hit sci-fi zombie franchise Resident Evil

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