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Sam Mendes Producing TV Thriller 'Grand Hotel'; Oliver Hirschbiegel Directs 4 Episodes Of 'Borgia'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 31, 2011 at 3:01AM

Call it "Prison Break" set inside a swanky hotel, but we have to admit we're curious about this one thanks to the talent aboard. Variety reports that director Sam Mendes is set to produce "Grand Hotel" (not to worry, classic film buffs, it's not a remake of the John Barrymore/Greta Garbo pic) along with Canal Plus and BBC Worldwide.
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Call it "Prison Break" set inside a swanky hotel, but we have to admit we're curious about this one thanks to the talent aboard. Variety reports that director Sam Mendes is set to produce "Grand Hotel" (not to worry, classic film buffs, it's not a remake of the John Barrymore/Greta Garbo pic) along with Canal Plus and BBC Worldwide.

The eight-episode series, with installments written by Richard McBrien ("Wallander," "Spooks") and Virginie Brac ("Spiral"), will center on "the guests and staff of a ritzy international hotel in Paris who are suddenly taken hostage. Held captive in the lap of luxury, they try to find out why they're being held prisoner, and plan to escape." There are no plans for Mendes to direct any episodes and the project is still in development, awaiting a greenlight, but it certainly sounds like a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, the trade also reveals that helmer Oliver Hirschbiegel ("Downfall") has directed four episodes of the upcoming series "Borgia." The Renaissance-age drama focuses on the titular Rodrigo Borgia and his ruthless quest to become the Holy See of Rome. The series started production in October, but no word yet on when it will air.

But don't think Hirschbiegel has retreated back to television after a dismal start in Hollywood ("The Invasion"); he is currently developing the trippy drug tale "The Dark Side Of The Moon." Based the best-selling novel by Swiss author Martin Suter the film follows a "successful attorney whose life is turned upside down after a mind-opening mushroom trip." David Marconi ("Live Free Or Die Hard," "Enemy Of The State") penned the screenplay, and it was originally set to go in front of cameras this spring, but it now looks like those plans didn't quite come together.

This article is related to: Foreign Directors, Sam Mendes, Oliver Hirschbiegel


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