Gaumont TV France will join forces with German production house Odeon on the English-language drama series Spy City, an espionage thriller set in 1960s Berlin.
The 10-part, hour-long drama was created by acclaimed British novelist and screenwriter William Boyd, who wrote the 2012 James Bond novel Solo. Boyd’s screenplay credits include Chaplin (1992) and A Good Man in Africa (1994), the latter adapted from his own novel. Pascal Chaumeil (A Long Way Down) is attached to direct the series. The French filmmaker is currently shooting Canal Plus’ crime dramedy series Spotless. Odeon CEO Mischa Hofmann and Britta Meyermann, head of international co-productions, are co-producers on Spy City.
Elizabeth Dreyer, whom Gaumont has named to the newly-created position of head of international co-productions will oversee the series. In her new positions Dreyer, a former acquisitions executive at Focus Feature’s French operation Liason Films and Miramax, will oversee all of Gaumont’s English-language co-productions originating out of Europe. Dreyer will report directly to Gaumont Vice CEO Christophe Riandee.
Starting with Spy City, Gaumont TV France plans to produce 1-2 English-language European series a year. L.A.-based sister company Gaumont International Television, producers such shows as NBC’s Hannibal and Hemlock Grove and the upcoming Narcos for Netflix.
“In the past few months, many more European-based projects have started coming our way. Spy City is the perfect English language project for us to produce in Europe and we are thrilled that William Boyd and Pascal Chaumeil are attached to this project,” commented Riandee. “In addition, with Elizabeth on board we will be able to focus on additional strong international projects financed and produced out of Europe.”
Spy City is set in the hottest period of the cold war, when Berlin was the center of the global chess game between the powers of East and West. The series is billed as an intimate look at the men and women who risked everything to become spies.