'Transporter' Retools By Hiring Steve Shill and Karen Wookey For Production Supervision

The Canada-French co-production, now shooting in Toronto, has brought in the big guns to help pull off major stunt and adventure scenes for the TV adaptation of Luc Besson's action franchise.

TORONTO -- The 12-part action series Transporter, an adaptation of Luc Besson’s action franchise, has retooled in Toronto with major production hirings.

The Canadian-French co-production between local producer QVF and Gallic partner Atlantique Productions has brought on board veteran British director Steve Shill (Rome, Dexter) and Canadian producer Karen Wookey (Andromeda) to help supervise production.

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who are executive producers on the action TV series for HBO/Cinemax, HBO Canada, Germany’s RTL and France M6, have stepped into the background to provide creative support after writing most of the scripts currently in production.

A number of key changes in production personnel have also been made after top execs from all four co-producing North American and European broadcasters attended a screening in Toronto this week.

Transporter is described by its producers as a complex international co-production that attempts to turn a Luc Besson movie franchise into an action TV series.

The series, budgeted at $4 million an episode, has lots of working parts -- multiple units, second units, fight units – and production on both sides of the Atlantic.

Fred Fuchs, a Toronto-based executive producer on Transporter, said the series, now half-way through production, has had to raise its production game to achieve the cutting-edge action/adventure scenes intended.

"This is a hard show, and we’re bringing in new people, not because of a problem, but because this is the nature of filmmaking. It’s not an exact science,” he said.

Transporter stars Chris Vance (Prison Break) as as ex-elite commando who acts as a transporter, delivering mysterious packages against all odds for a series of shady and dangerous clients.

The action series initially shot on location in Europe in June before shifting to Toronto in July, and continuing here through November.

Sue Murdoch’s VVF and Klaus Zimmermann’s Atlantique Productions are producing the series. which is slated to bow in 2012.

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