Shooting on new action series THE PROFESSIONALS has started
Brendan Fraser, Tom Welling, Elena Anaya and Saïd Taghmaoui are starring in the lead roles
Brendan Fraser ("Trust", "The Mummy", "GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra", "School Ties"), Tom Welling ("Smallville", "Cheaper by the dozen", "Parkland"), Elena Anaya ("Wonder Woman’s" 'Dr. Poison', "The Skin I live In", "MotherFatherSon"), Saïd Taghmaoui ("John Wick 3", "Wonder Woman", "American Hustle"), Ken Duken ("Inglourious Basterds", "Counterpart"), Lisa Loven Kongsli ("Force Majeure", "Wonder Woman", "Ashes in the Snow") and August Wittgenstein ("Das Boot", "Hidden") have been cast in the new English-language action series THE PROFESSIONALS, which started principal photography on the 10-episode first season this week for anchor broadcaster Viaplay in Scandinavia. Tele München Group is handling worldwide sales via its subsidiary TM International. Both companies are part of the new company led by Fred Kogel, which will emerge from Tele München Group (TMG), Universum Film, i&u TV and Wiedemann & Berg Film. TM International will present the one-hour series at this year’s Mipcom. Germany’s nationwide TV channel RTL II has pre-bought the free-TV rights.
Set against a backdrop of international espionage and corporate sabotage in the 21st century’s privately-funded space race, THE PROFESSIONALS stars Tom Welling as a hardened former counterintelligence officer, Captain Vincent Corbo. After their advanced medical satellite explodes on deployment, billionaire futurist Peter Swann, Brendan Fraser, and his fiancée, medical visionary Dr. Graciela "Grace" Davila, Elena Anaya, turn to Corbo. Corbo assembles a team of experienced professionals to investigate the incident. They learn that any combination of Swann’s business rivals, corrupt governments officials, and a shadowy crime syndicate could be behind the attack and represent a continued threat. Ken Duken plays a Europol agent seeking to thwart the security team’s efforts.
The first three episodes will be directed by Bharat Nalluri ("MI-5 aka Spooks: The Greater Good", "The Man Who Invented Christmas"). The series was created by Jeff Most ("The Crow", "The Specialist") and is loosely based on Roadside Attractions’ feature film release "Soldiers of Fortune", also produced by Most. Michael Colleary will serve as the series’ showrunner and head writer. Colleary’s producing credits include "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and "Face/Off" (Co-Producer, Co-Writer), and his television showrunner credits include "Tarzan" and "Unnatural History". The series will be produced by Katy Most, Lwazi Manzi, Aoife O’Sullivan, as co-producers serve Kim Williams and Natalie McAuley and Associate Producer is Jessica Smith.
“This is the kind of television that couldn’t be more timely or topical as it imagines billionaires using their wealth to deploy private military units to achieve their political and business goals,” said series creator Jeff Most.
Roadside Attractions’ Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff add: “We could not be more thrilled about the cast and creative team behind THE PROFESSIONALS. This is the second series, the first being Lionsgate TV’s Dear White People on Netflix, that we’ve helped bring to television based on one of Roadside’s theatrical releases.”
Herbert L. Kloiber, managing director of TM International: “With this incredible international cast, this is the kind of action series that has enormous global appeal and we have already seen interest for THE PROFESSIONALS overseas. We are very excited about the way this series has come together and are looking forward to strong activity from now on up until MIPCOM.”
Maijang Mpherwane, South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation’s head of media and audio visual said, “Bringing film and television production to South Africa is a goal of the government and we are tremendously excited that THE PROFESSIONALS will be shooting throughout our country. We have highly skilled labor and extraordinary locations.”
Added Viaplay’s Fredrik Ljungberg, “Given where we are with the privatization of corporate space exploration and with the world class production companies and marquis named cast involved on THE PROFESSIONALS, this series had all the outstanding elements that made this an excellent programming choice for the team at Viaplay.”
The series is a production of Most Media, Subotica, Spier Films Production and Roadside Attractions in association with Jeff Most Productions, Highbridge Production, Tele München Group and Viaplay.
Michael Colleary will Executive Produce along with Jeff Most, Tristan Orpen Lynch, Michael Auret, Howard Cohen, Eric d’Arbeloff, and Jennifer Berman, Roadside’s SVP, who is leading the company’s charge into television. Other Executive Producers include Herbert L. Kloiber, Thomas Augsberger, Cosima von Spreti, Daniel Wagner, Maxim Korostyshevsky, Bharat Nalluri, Fredrik Ljungberg, Brendan Fraser, Tom Welling and Elena Anaya.
Brendan Fraser is represented by Stephen Hirsh from The Gersh Agency, JoAnne Colonna from Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Patti Felker from Felker Toczek Suddelson Abramson. Tom Welling and Saïd Taghmaoui are both represented by David Unger at Artist International. Elena Anaya is represented by Steve Alexander from ICM and Katrina Bayonas from Kuranda Management. Ken Duken is repped by Ruth A. Young from United Agents and Harriet Hahlweg from Agentur Hahlweg. August Wittgenstein is represented by Laura Munsterhjelm from Actors in Scandinavia.
The series is an Official Ireland – Republic of South Africa Co-Production with primary locations in South Africa and Ireland. Financing for the series has been arranged by the IDC, Cofiloisirs with the support of IFCIC, Aperture Media, Tele München Group, and Viaplay.