Acclaimed Scandinavian drama The Bridge is set to be remade for Sky Atlantic as The Tunnel which the drama shifting to Britain and France instead of Sweden and Denmark. In the UK the Danish detective/crime drama is shown on BBC Four following the success of the similarly themed The Killing and political drama Borgen.
The commission by Sky Atlantic is part of the channels drive to produce more original content which part of Sky‘s wider drive in the same area especially on home-grown drama and comedy. Sky’s commitment to producing more home-grown programming, instead of relying on American imports, has lead to shows such as Stella, Mount Pleasant, Trollied and Strike Back.
As part of Sky’s continuing investment in original home-grown content, Sky Atlantic HD is today (10th January 2013) delighted to announce THE TUNNEL, a thrilling crime drama. The 10 x 60’ series is a Sky Atlantic HD and CANAL+ co-production from Kudos Film and TV and Shine France Films in association with Filmlance. Production will begin in early 2013 for TX later in the year. The Tunnel , adapted by an Anglo-French writing team led by Ben Richards (Spooks, Outcasts, Party Animals), is based on the format of The Bridge (created by Hans Rosenfeldt) but set against the backdrop of Europe in crisis. When a prominent French politician is found dead on the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries. However, the case takes a surreal turn when a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, forcing the French and British police into an uneasy partnership. As the serial killer uses ever more elaborate and ingenious methods to highlight the moral bankruptcy of modern society, Karl and Elise are drawn deeper into his increasingly personal agenda.
The Tunnel has been commissioned by Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, for Sky and Fabrice De La Patellière, Director of Fiction, for CANAL+. Primarily set in Folkestone and Calais, the series will be bilingual – a first in broadcasting for both the UK and France.
Elaine Pyke, Director, Sky Atlantic, says “I’m delighted to announce The Tunnel as part of Sky Atlantic HD’s burgeoning drama slate. Following HIT & MISS and FALCÓN, we are establishing Sky Atlantic as the home of great British drama as well as continuing to have the best of the US.”
Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, Sky, says “The state and future of the European Union has never been more part of the public conversation. It is exciting to feel that Sky Atlantic can be a space to explore what is important to our viewers through bold and innovative narrative. We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with CANAL+ and Kudos Film and TV on this exceptional series. The Tunnel’s journey into the mind of a politically motivated serial killer will really build on Sky Atlantic’s ambition to be the home of world class story-telling.”
Fabrice De La Patellière, Director of French Fiction for CANAL+, says “CANAL+ is delighted to be pioneering a prestigious international co-production alongside Sky Atlantic and Kudos Film and TV with The Tunnel . This partnership combines Franco-British talents both in the writing and production of the drama. The Tunnel is a gripping thriller set against the backdrop of Western Europe in crisis. With The Tunnel , our objective is to develop a major series that is undeniably original and unique and we are very excited about offering it to our subscribers. This 10-part series marks a new phrase in the channel’s international production of original content.”
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive, Kudos Film and TV, says “We owe a huge debt to our Shine colleagues at Filmlance for letting us take their wonderful original series and make our very own Anglo-French version, allowing us to really examine and enjoy the ever-evolving relationship between our two countries and the rest of Europe through the prism of a compelling thriller story. This will be a TV first in many ways and we’re delighted to be going boldly forwards with our partners at Sky Atlantic, CANAL+ and Shine France.”
Thierry Lachkar, C.E.O, Shine France says: “The Tunnel is an ambitious TV series which is steeped in local and European realism, dealing with universal subjects. Shine France Films sees itself as the European partner of choice, noted for its reliability, value for money and editorial quality for both broadcasters and talent within the international TV co-production market.”
The Tunnel is the latest commission from Sky Atlantic HD following Sky’s commitment to increase its investment in original British content. By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600 million a year in British programmes across its portfolio of channels. Sky Atlantic HD is to be a major part of that charge by commissioning bold, authored pieces with strong narrative stories across a range of genres including drama, comedy and factual. The critically acclaimed Hit and Miss, created by Paul Abbott, was Sky Atlantic’s first original drama commission and was recently followed by Falcón, based on the best-selling novels of Robert Wilson.
The Tunnel will be executive produced by Anne Mensah for Sky, Fabrice De La Patellière for CANAL+, Jane Featherstone, Karen Wilson, Manda Levin and Ben Richards for Kudos Film and TV, Nora Melhli for Shine France and Lars Blomgren for Filmlance. The producer is Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Hour, The Nativity).