Gaumont TV France set to produce ‘Spy City’


MUMBAI:  Gaumont TV France, a division of the European based motion picture studio Gaumont, announced that the company plans to produce Spy City, a 10 x one-hour English language drama series focusing on the intense spy game in early 1960s Berlin.  

Spy City will be co-produced by Odeon in Germany, with CEO Mischa Hofmann and head of international co-productions Britta Meyermann, responsible for the deal. Acclaimed novelist and UK-based screenwriter William Boyd is set to create and write with respected French director Pascal Chaumeil to direct.


In addition, it was announced today that Gaumont TV France has hired Elizabeth Dreyer to the newly created position head of international co-productions. Based in Paris, Dreyer will oversee co-productions originating out of Europe that will be produced in English.  Gaumont TV France plans to produce one to two English language European series a year, while Gaumont’s production and distribution studio Gaumont International Television,  will continue with its mandate to produce and distribute programming for the global marketplace.


Gaumont CEO Christophe Riandee said “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,” He went on to add that with Elizabeth on board they will be able to focus on additional strong international projects financed and produced out of Europe.


With high-stakes political intrigue at its core, each episode of Spy City will be played out in an elaborate chess game with post WWII superpowers vying for power in Berlin. Spy City is also an intimate look at the personal lives of those who chose to become spies. The series focuses on a group of men and women of different nationalities and backgrounds as they endeavor to realise their hopes, dreams and ambitions in the hornet’s nest of divided Berlin.

William Boyd has received worldwide acclaim for his novels, A Good Man in Africa, An Ice Cream War, Brazzaville Beach, The Blue Afternoon and Any Human Heart.  Boyd’s most recent works include his novel Ordinary Thunderstorms, the latest James Bond book Solo, and the espionage novel Waiting for Sunrise.  Boyd wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed film Chaplin, directed by Richard Attenborough, and has been nominated for two Emmy Awards.


Pascal Chaumeil has both film and television credits to his name. He is currently directing Spotless, a London-set series for Canal+.  His film career includes A Long Way Down, A Perfect Plan and Heartbreaker.  On the television side Chaumeil’s credits include the French TV series Fais pas ci, fais pas ça, and the French miniseries L'état de Grace, among others.


A well-respected film executive with experience spanning acquisitions, development, production and sales, Dreyer joins Gaumont TV France from Velvet Calico Films where she served as president consulting and advising a variety of clients in feature film, animation, and television. Prior to that position, she was vice president, development and acquisitions, at Liaison Films, Focus Features' Paris-based subsidiary, sourcing European-originated projects for production by Focus. Dreyer began her career with Miramax Films in acquisitions, buying independent and foreign films while based in New York and then London, ultimately being promoted to vice president.


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