9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Lena Dunham Returns to HBO With International Finance Drama Series
Girls creator Lena Dunham is returning to HBO.
The actress and prolific producer is teaming with newcomers Konrad Kay and Mickey Down for Industry, an eight-episode drama series set in the world of international finance. (It's unclear if Dunham will have an onscreen role.)
The series is based on Kay and Down's personal experience. It explores the world of international finance through the eyes of ambitious twenty-somethings struggling to secure their futures. Industry follows a group of young graduates competing for a limited set of permanent positions at a top investment bank in London — but the boundaries between colleague, friend, lover and enemy soon blur as they immerse themselves in a company culture defined as much by sex, drugs and ego as it is by deals and dividends. As members of the group rise and fall, they must decide whether life is about more than the bottom line.
Kay and Down created the series and penned the scripts. The duo will also executive produce alongside Dunham, who will direct the pilot. Industry marks Dunham's first series at HBO since she split with longtime producing partner Jenni Konner. Together, the pair's credits included Girls and the limited series Camping, both for HBO. Since their creative separation last summer, both have inked solo producing deals with the premium cable network.
Industry hails from Bad Wolf, the British indie production company behind HBO's The Night Of and the upcoming His Dark Materials as well as Sundance's A Discovery of Witches. This is the first TV series for Kay and Down, who together wrote and directed the feature film Gregor, which earned a Discovery Award at the British Independent Film Awards — where Bad Wolf first took notice of the duo. The company, fronted by founder Jane Tranter, has been working with them since.
"Mickey and Konrad’s talent, drive and commitment was obvious to us the moment we met them," Tranter said Friday in a statement. "The scripts for Industry have an energy and direction that comes from their first-hand experience of the trading floor, and their ear for sharp dialogue immediately captured our attention. We're excited to be making their first TV drama series with HBO — who are never afraid to make bold decisions and support new talent."
The series, which will be shot in Cardiff this summer, is part of Bad Wolf's commitment to scouting and nurturing new talent. The Cardiff- and Los Angeles-based company places a priority on providing opportunities for other behind-the-scenes roles on indie-scale dramas and creating a new wave of production talent to meet the growing global demand for quality content.
Down, Kay, Tranter, Lachlan MacKinnon, Ryan Rasmussen and Dunham will all exec produce the series.
Industry joins a growing roster of HBO scripted originals as the premium cabler ramps up production under new corporate parent WarnerMedia. HBO's slate includes Ballers, Barry, Big Little Lies, Catherine the Great, Curb Your Enthusiasm, J.J. Abrams' Contraband (formerly Demimonde), Divorce, The Deuce, Euphoria, Gentleman Jack, Gorilla and the Bird, Insecure, Los Espookys, Lovecraft Country, Mrs. Fletcher, My Brilliant Friend, Joss Whedon's The Nevers, The New Pope, Perry Mason and Westworld, among others.