MIPCOM played host last night to the world premiere screening of Devils, a Sky Italia financial thriller, produced by Lux Vide and Orange Studio, funded by Sky Studios and starring screen icon Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) alongside Alessandro Borghi (Suburra).
Based on a best-selling novel by Italian trader Guido Maria Brera, the ten-part English-language series was shot mainly in Rome, but set in the London office of a US bank. Inspired by the 2008 global financial crisis, the series portrays Borghi as a ruthless head of trading, Massimo Ruggero, introduced to the world of finance by Dominic Morgan (Dempsey), the bank’s CEO. Ahead of the screening, Dempsey told the MIPCOM News that “I read the first episode and really liked the reversals in the story. It went to places I wasn’t expecting.”
While Dempsey is best-known for US mega-hit Grey’s Anatomy, his recent TV career has had a distinctly international flavour. He said: “I love being in Europe. I like to work internationally because I learn when I travel. It’s really interesting to be at an event like this where so many countries are represented and I might get to meet new showrunners.”
Devils is Borghi’s first English-language project: “It was really challenging and exciting for me, because of the language and because of the world, which I knew nothing about. It was a gift to work on something so international, yet with this strong dynamic between two characters.”
Showrunner/director Nick Hurran said: “I have spent the last few years on really big science fiction projects, so I was really yearning to do something that had a human story. I read Guido’s novel and it made me angry. But then it inspired me to tell the story of how people are affected by a global financial system that is broken and still impacting on lives around the world.”
Co-director Jan Michelini added: “I was amazed when I read the book. The way global finance affects people’s lives is much bigger than I knew and that struck me really hard.”
Sky Italia head of original productions Nils Hartmann said Devils is precisely the kind of ground-breaking production his division is keen to support. He confirmed that plans are already underway for a second series. Luca Bernabei, Lux Vide CEO and executive producer, added that framing the global financial world in terms of human stories was key to giving the show authenticity. Devils is being distributed internationally by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.
This is an advance extract from the MIPCOM News Issue 2; full version online soon!