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German studios reinterpret French classic

German studios Leonine and Syrreal Entertainment have teamed up to co-develop a modern interpretation of literary classic The Count of Monte Cristo.

Adolfo J Kolmerer

The revenge-themed novel The Count of Monte Cristo, by French author Alexandre Dumas, was completed in 1844. The book has since been adapted numerous times for film, television and the stage.

Based on a pitch by Adolfo J Kolmerer and Arend Remmers, Leonine and Syrreal Entertainment will develop the novel in the form of a limited series called Santiago.

Santiago will span across two seasons with eight episodes each, taking the viewer from a Venezuelan prison to Germany and other European locations. Kolmerer and Remmers are creating the series with Christian Alvart, while Kolmerer and Alvart will also direct.

“We have been in love with this tale basically all our lives and Santiago has been growing in our minds ever since we first got the idea of a modern retelling of one of our favourite stories. We feel the time has come to present The Count of Monte Cristo in a new form and take it to today’s world, with fresh characters in a compelling new setting,” said Kolmerer.

Remmers added: “We want it to be gritty and grounded in a contemporary reality while staying true to the larger-than-life feeling and sense of adventure that made the original story so exciting.”

In related news, Leonine has picked up the international distribution rights to six-part drama Herzogpark, after a deal with Studio Hamburg subsidiary Letterbox Filmproduktion. Rights within German-speaking territories remain with RTL.

Leonine was formed last year from the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, Wiedemann & Berg Film and W&B TV.

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