EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan) is turning his hand to big budget rom-com adventure TV with The Splendid Affinities, a series set across Paris, Madrid and London.
Global Screen is co-producing and will feature The Splendid Affinities on its Berlinale slate and Stillman has teamed with Argentina 1985 producer Infinity Hill and Lauranne Bourrachot (A Prophet) on the project, which is one of Stillman’s first major TV offerings.
The show is set 30 years after the end of the Soviet era, where the fictional Baltic republic of Vronyia is under threat along with the life of its beloved Prince Michael, elder statesman of the country’s return to democracy. Violence extends to London, Paris and Madrid and the main characters have to save the nations in the most stylish way possible, with dreams of finding love while doing so.
Stillman said the once popular rom-com adventure genre has “become rarer.”
“Films and series in the genre often involve true, significant conflicts and a historical moment that provides intriguing storylines and high stakes,” he added. “The world is again at such a crossroads, the time for adventure returned.”
Stillman is mainly known for his quintet of features, which includes Oscar-nominated 1990 movie Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco and, most recently, Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship starring Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale. He wrote TV movie The Cosmopolitans in 2014.
Bourrachot collaborated with Stillman on Love & Friendship while past credits include fellow Oscarnominee A Prophet, Our Beloved Children and Kabul Kitchen. She will produce The Splendid Affinities along with Infinity Hill’s Phin Glynn and Axel Kuschevatzky, who are currently riding the high off the success of their 2023 Oscar nominee Argentina 1985.
Global Screen is taking The Splendid Affinities to Berlinale Market, where it is also shopping Sky Cinema’s The Amazing Maurice, Acorn crime series Recipes for Love and Murder and the TIFF 2022-featured My Sailor My Love. Part of the European Film Market, the Berlinale is running from today to February 22.