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The chaos that followed the fall of the Soviet Union and the ensuing rush for power in Moscow will be laid bare in an upcoming series being financed and distributed by The Weinstein Co. and U.K. TV giant ITV’s ITV Studios Global Entertainment arm.
Mafiya, a 10-part series written by William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands, Les Miserables), is being produced by Archery Pictures, the new U.K. banner founded last year by industry veterans Kris Thykier and Liza Marshall. It was developed in association with the BBC and Monumental Pictures, in which ITV Studios bought a stake earlier this year. The project’s new backers were announced on Wednesday.
“Bill has created a fascinating and thrilling window into the world of the Russian Oligarchy. An epic drama that takes you from the fall of the Berlin Wall through to the election of Vladimir Putin,” said Thykier and Marshall. “We are excited to bring his vision to life and could not be happier to be partnering with the combined might of The Weinstein Co. and ITV Studios Global Entertainment.”
Negeen Yazdi and Robert Walak of The Weinstein Co. said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be joining forces again on this series with our great friends at Archery Pictures and ITV Studios Global Entertainment. Mafiya is one of those projects that comes along so rarely that packages together a dream combination of creative elements, and it’s an honour for us at TWC to be part of it.”
Set in the Russian capital in the 1990s, when criminal gangs and private armies clashed over wealth and control, Mafiya will follow a character called Misha, who goes from street trader to become one of the richest and powerful individuals in the country. Is it set to go into production in early 2016.
“We are thrilled to be working with Archery and TWC to bring this fantastic story with global scale and ambition to international audiences.” said Ruth Clarke, EVP global content & co-productions at ITVS GE.
Since Kick-Ass and W.E. producer Thykier and former Scott Free U.K. head Marshall formed Archery in 2014, the new company has been expanding its TV slate, teaming up with Neil Jordan (The Borgias) for crime drama Riviera and partnering with Wolf Hall director Peter Kosminsky. The company is also in post-production on Azerbaijani epic Ali & Nino, directed by Asif Kapadia (Amy), which was rolled into Archery’s slate from Thykier’s previous company PeaPie Films.
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