In today’s Global Bulletin, Korea’s IU joins the cast of Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “Broker”; Bertelsmann sells Groupe M6; Red Arrow takes series “Blackout”; Shorts festival sets dates; and ITV commissions game show “Moneyball.”
Lee Ji-eun, the popular Korean singer-actor better known as IU, has joined the cast of “Broker,” Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu’s debut Korean-language movie. She joins a stellar cast that production company Zip Cinema confirmed will also include “Parasite” star Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won and Bae Doo-na.
More from Variety
Lee’s recent acting roles include Netflix series “Hotel Del Luna,” “My Mister,” and a supporting role in Netflix hit “Crash Landing on You.” The film takes as its starting point boxes that are left out for people to anonymously drop off their unwanted babies. That makes “Broker” thematically linked to Kore-eda’s previous films, including Cannes competition title “Nobody Knows” and Cannes jury prize-winner “Like Father, Like Son.” Production is set to begin at an unspecified date later this year. CJ Entertainment is handling international sales. – Patrick Frater
Bertelsmann, the German media powerhouse which owns RTL Group, is reportedly in discussions to sell Groupe M6, including France’s second biggest commercial network. Currently owned by RTL Group, M6 also comprises the radio station RTL. According to several media reports, Betelsmann is in talks with Vivendi and Altice Europe to sell the asset for around €3 billion. The news was first reported by Reuters.
RTL Group didn’t deny the reports and issued a statement on Monday saying that “there is a strong case for consolidation in the European broadcasting sector” and adding that “RTL Group reviews such options on an ongoing basis with a view to creating value for its shareholders.”
“There can be no certainty that this may lead to any type of agreement or transaction,” said RTL Group.
Headquartered in Luxembourg, RTL Group runs several TV channels and radio stations in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. – Elsa Keslassy
Red Arrow Studios International has acquired global distribution rights to six-part thriller series “Blackout – Tomorrow Is Too Late,” produced by W&B Television (“Dark”) for Joyn and SAT.1 in Germany. Based on Marc Elsberg’s bestselling novel, the series sees the past catch up with a former hacker when a sudden blackout plunges Europe into darkness.
The German-language drama is directed by Lancelot von Naso (“Ceasefire”), and Oliver Rihs (“Black Sheep”), and written by von Naso alongside Kai-Uwe Hasenheit (“Ceasefire”). It stars Moritz Bleibtreu (“Lommbock”), Marie Leuenberger (“The Divine Order”) and Jessica Schwarz (“Biohackers”).
Executive Producers are Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann and Kerstin Nommsen for W&B Television and Lena Wickert, Jana Kaun and Stefan Gärtner for Joyn and SAT.1.
“Blackout” will premiere in the fall on Joyn and in spring 2022 on SAT.1. Red Arrow will launch the show at Mipcom 2021.
ShortsTV, the global channel and network dedicated to short films and exclusive presenter of Oscar-nominated shorts’ theatrical releases, will host the annual 2021 ShortsTV Worldwide Film Festival and awards show in December. The event will feature festival winning films from the U.S., Europe, Latin America and India, and the titles will also air on all ShortsTV channels globally later that month.
Earlier, ShortsTV will air its 2020 winners from the regional TVCortos LatAm Film Festival on Feb. 24 and the 2020 ShortsTV India Film Festival on Feb. 25, with a combined 2020 ShortsTV Worldwide Film Festival awards show that will air on the ShortsTV channels on Feb. 27.
U.K. broadcaster ITV has commissioned game show, “Moneyball,” hosted by former English Premier League soccer player, and current BBC Sport and ITV Sport commentator Ian Wright.
Navigating their way through a series of questions, contestants can accumulate large sums of money for every correct answer, but the difference between winning life-changing money and going home with nothing rests entirely on the bounce of a ball.
“Moneyball” is commissioned by head of ITV entertainment commissioning Katie Rawcliffe and ITV commissioning editor for entertainment Joe Mace. The show is a co-production from Possessed and Potato, both part of ITV Studios, and
executive producers are Glenn Hugill, Possessed, Michael Kelpie, Martin Scott and Barry Hart, Potato. ITV Studios will handle international distribution.
Best of Variety