16 JUN 2021

ZDF UNVEILS PRODUCTION PLANS FOR “THE SWARM”

Production for the thriller has already begun in Italy and will transition to Belgium in August for underwater scene filming. The company is tasked with distributing the Intaglio Films production.

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ZDF Enterprises has announced the start of production for Intaglio Films and ndF International Production’s “The Swarm” has begun production in Italy. Multi Emmy award-winning producer and Intaglio creative director Frank Doelger is executive producing Germany’s first English-language series together with and IP’s managing director Eric Welbers. "After three years of intense preparation and a year of delay due to the Covid crisis, the film adaptation of “The Swarm” is finally getting off the ground,” Frank Zervos, co-producer for “The Swarm” at ZDF. “The series will be state-of-the-art: emotional, close to the present, diverse, as well as scientifically and technologically up to date"

Based on Frank Schaetzing’s bestseller, which has been translated into 27 languages and sold 4.5 million copies in Germany, “The Swarm” is produced by Intaglio Film and ndF IP through the joint venture Schwarm TV Productions GmbH & Co KG for ZDF, France Télévisions, Rai, ORF, SRF, Scandinavia’s Nordic Entertainment Group, and Hulu Japan, coproduced with Bravado and in association with Viola Film. The series has the support of Creative Europe and is set to be funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Producer Mark Huffam, Ute Leonhardt, novel author Frank Schaetzing and Till Groenemeyer are serving as executive producers, with Friedemann Goez and Charlotte Groth producing. The European Alliance headed by ZDF, France Télévisions, and Rai is co-producing “The Swarm” alongside ORF, SRF, Scandinavia’s Nordic Entertainment Group, and Hulu Japan. Shooting in Italy is scheduled to wrap in August and move to Belgium for the highly anticipated underwater filming. ZDF Enterprises and Beta Film are handling worldwide sales. The series is directed by Luke Watson, Barbara Eder, and Philipp Stoelzl.

The international cast ensemble was lined up by Victor Jenkins and Andy Brierley, with Kathleen Chopin handling North American casting. David Luther and Dominik Berg are attached as Director of Photography with Julian Wagner creating the design, while Carlo Poggioli served as costume designer."Adapting ‘The Swarm’ for television provided several creative challenges, one of the most exciting of which was to reimagine the characters to reflect the increasing diversity of the scientific community,” Frank Doelger, Executive Producer Intaglio said. “This allowed us to put together a cast which I believe would have been unimaginable in 2004 when the novel was written."

The international cast for the eight-part environmental thriller includes Cécile de France, Alexander Karim, Leonie Benesch, Barbara Sukowa, Takuya Kimura, Krista Kosonen, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Takehiro Hira, Lydia Wilson, Joshua Odjick, Eidin Jalali, Jack Greenlees, Dutch Johnson, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster. "It was important to me that we don‘t simply adapt 'The Swarm' for the screen, but rather modernize it,” Frank Schätzing, author of the novel and Executive Producer said. “An interpretation for the days to come that puts the lives, fears, and hopes of younger generations center stage. That’s what Frank Doelger and I have worked on as a team, with great support from the ZDF, which initiated the project.”

The series proves the existance of intelligence that lives in the depths of the sea, possibly threatening the safety of the Earth. "More than 15 years after the publication of “The Swarm” the ecological crisis is still one of the most pressing global challenges,” Dr. Norbert Himmler, Chief Creative Officer (CCO), ZDF said. “Therefore, it is especially important for us to adapt this highly relevant topic for the screen as a major German-led international project.”

After three years of intense preparation and a year of delay due to the Covid crisis, the film adaptation of 'The Swarm' is finally getting off the ground. The series will be state-of-the-art: emotional, close to the present, diverse, as well as scientifically and technologically up to date.” Frank Zervos Co-producer, "The Swarm," ZDF