EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal International Studios is teaming up with Marcella producer Buccaneer Media and Danish scribe Ingeborg Topsoe on crime-drama series Moths.
Topsoe is riding high following the Berlin Film Festival premiere last week of Scandi crime-drama feature Wildland, which was one of the best-reviewed movies at the festival. She previously collaborated with NBCUniversal’s international TV arm on Hanna.
The premise of Moths is that a young woman in California receives a call that her sister has been found dead of an apparent suicide in Tokyo, where she had been working as a scientific researcher. Thus begins a journey to uncover in death who her sister was in life – and how she both adapted and failed to adapt to her new native land.
Topsoe, who has already written multiple episodes of the eight-episode (8 x 60mins) show, will be in L.A. this week with the studio to discuss the project with SVODs and other potential distribution partners.
The Danish writer sat down with us in Berlin last week to discuss the project. “I am always interested in the idea of whether you can ever really know another human being,” she told us. “Everyone knows what it’s like to discover something about someone you thought you knew well. This idea of human connection was something I wanted to explore through current technology.
“In ways, we are more connected than ever before, but in others, we have never been more separate from each other,” she continued. “Deep fakes, AI, chat bots, etc mean that it’s increasingly hard to know what is real. I wanted to have a female gaze on that technology. We often assume tech just happens but the reality is that most tech is created by men. That leads to many questions about that technology and what it says about us.”
The show is being set up as a co-production between NBCUniversal International Studios and Buccaneer, with Tom Coan (NBCU Intl Studios), Anna Burns (Buccaneer), Tony Wood (Buccaneer) and Richard Tulk-Hart (Buccaneer) serving as executive producers. Topsoe will be writer.
Coan told us, “Ingeborg has a very compelling ability to capture character and tension in a way that hits all the marks but also feels fresh. Our flagship show Hanna and Buccaneer’s flagship show Marcella are both female-driven and we are very happy to be able to continue that trend with Moths. This is a show with truly global scope, combining a Danish writer, UK production company, a London-based international studio, a U.S. lead character and a Japanese setting. We see it as a great fit for the U.S. SVODs, for example, given its ambition.”
Burns added, “We read Wildland and were completely blown away by it. It’s rare to find such fresh talents as Ingeborg. We knew we wanted to work with her and were so happy she came to us with the idea for Moths.”
The series would be NBCUniversal’s first drama to shoot in Japan. Coan told us that the team will also meet with NBCUniversal’s in-house streaming service Peacock.
Wildland, starring Borgen‘s Sidse Babett Knudson, follows a young girl’s experience of a violent and criminal family. Copenhagen-based Monos and Birds Of Passage co-producer Snowglobe produced the film.
Topsoe’s previous feature The Charmer played at festivals including San Sebastian, Chicago and Palm Springs. She is repped by Marnie Podos at Under New Mgmt.
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