Castle alumStana Katic, Sarah Megan Thomas (Equity), and Radhika Apte(Padman) are set to star in an untitled female-driven WW II spy drama set to begin principal photography this spring. Linus Roache (Batman Begins) and Rossif Sutherland (River) also have been cast in the project, based on the real-life spies in Winston Churchill’s “secret army”, from Thomas and Lydia Dean Pilcher (Queen of Katwe).
The film centers on British intelligence officer Vera Atkins, played by Katic, and two of the women she sends to France as spies, Virginia Hall (Thomas) and Noor Inayat Khan (Apte). Atkins is a crafty recruiter with a secret of her own. Hall is a daring American with a wooden leg who was the first female field agent and ultimately the spy the Nazi’s dubbed “the most dangerous of all,” and Khan is a pacifist of Indian descent who was the first female wireless operator. These civilian women form a sisterhood while entangled in missions to turn the tide of the war.
Thomas wrote the screenplay and will produce with Lydia Dean Pilcher (Queen of Katwe) who is set to direct.
Katic, who played Kate Beckett for eight seasons on ABC’s Castle, stars in Sony Pictures Television Networks’ thriller drama series Absentia, which is currently streaming on Amazon. Her feature credits include CBGB, Big? Sur, The Spirit, Feast of Love, The Double and Bond franchise installment Quantum of Solace.
Thomas’ latest film, Equity, which she co-wrote, produced and starred in, premiered at at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Sony Pictures Classics. She also starred opposite James Van Der Beek in the feature Backwards.
Apte recently starred in the hit Bollywood film Padman and will star opposite Dev Patel in Michael Winterbottom’s upcoming feature The Wedding Guest.
Thomas is repped by Bresker Kelly, Leigh Brillstein Management and Nelson Davis. Katic is repped by Gersh, Principal LA, and Nelson Davis. Apte is repped by Curtis Brown.
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Stana Katic’s Castle follow-up, Absentia, will make its Stateside debut on Friday, Feb. 2, Amazon has announced. All 10 episodes will be released at once.
A production of Sony Pictures Television’s AXN, the series’ global roll-out began in late September.
Created by Gaia Violo and Matt Cirulnick, Absentia centers on Katic’s Emily Byrne, an FBI agent who, while hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, disappears without a trace and is declared dead. Six years later, Emily is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive and with no memory of the years she was missing. Returning home to learn her husband (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce‘s Patrick Heusinger) has remarried and her son (Patrick McCauley) is being raised by another woman (Downton Abbey‘s Cara Theobold), she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
The series’ ensemble cast also includes Angel Bonanni (Shots Fired), Richard Brake (Ray Donovan), Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow), Ralph Ineson (Game of Thrones), Paul Freeman (Da Vinci’s Demons) and Bruno Bichir (The Bridge).
Prime Video will be the exclusive U.S. home to the series, slated for a 2018 premiere. Amazon also will carry Absentia in several international markets, including the U.K., Australia, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Singapore and South Korea, and Turkey. The series will also be available in other territories after its linear broadcast debut.
Absentia, created by Gaia Violo and Cirulnick based on a pilot script by Violo. centers on FBI agent Emily Byrne (Katic). While hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, Agent Byrne disappears without a trace and is declared dead. Six years later, Emily is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive, and with no memory of the years she was missing. Returning home to learn her husband has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
Absentia, produced byTel Aviv-based Masha Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television in association with Sony Pictures Television’s International Networks, premiered at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in June and launched on Sony’s AXN channels this fall. It was the number one program in its time slot when it debuted in Spain, Portugal, Romania and Poland.
The series is executive produced and directed by Oded Ruskin, alongside executive producers Katic, Matt Cirulnick, Julie Glucksman, and Maria Feldman.
“Absentia is an exciting new thriller which combines family and love with suspense and vindication,” said Brad Beale, VP, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition, Amazon Prime Video. “Prime members worldwide are going to love this well written show with remarkable performances by a terrific ensemble cast led by Stana Katic in her newest lead role.”
Absentia started with a 10-episode straight-to-series order by Sony Pictures Television Networks’ AXN last fall for a 2017 premiere on AXN’s worldwide channels and a plan to seek distribution in the U.S. and outside of AXN’s footprint once the show was completed.
“Absentia started as a passion project for Sony’s Networks group with a brilliant director and producer and a stellar cast of international talent, all willing to jump into an entirely new model,” said Marie Jacobson, EVP, Programming & Production, Sony Pictures TV Networks. “We are thrilled to share this premium independent drama series with Amazon’s global viewers.”
Absentia also stars Patrick Heusinger as Emily’s husband and fellow FBI agent Nick as well as Cara Theobold, Neil Jackson, Angel Bonanni, Richard Brake, Ralph Ineson, Paul Freeman, Bruno Bichir and Patrick McAuley. Here is a trailer released ahead of the series’ debut on AXN.
Monaco, 9 May, 2017
Laurent Puons, CEO of the 57th Monte-Carlo Television Festival (16th – 20th June) announced today that Sony Pictures Television Networks’ much anticipated new thriller series Absentia, starring Stana Katic (Castle) will open this year’s event.
Representing a global premiere, this exclusive screening of the first episode of Absentia will follow the star-studded Opening Ceremony, during which H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Festival’s Honorary President, will officially open the 57th edition of the Festival. Prior to the event, members of Absentia’s cast and crew will join a host of acting and production talent from around the world on the red carpet. A Sony Pictures Television Networks Original Series produced by Masha Productions, ten-part drama Absentia is set to make its broadcast debut this fall on select Sony networks, including AXN. Sony Pictures Television is handling distribution for the show worldwide.
Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, said, «I’m thrilled to announce that our 57th edition will open with the global premiere of this exceptional series. Sony Pictures Television Networks and AXN are renowned throughout the world for delivering high-profile, buzzworthy drama. With its acclaimed cast and crew, alongside its intriguing premise, I’m certain Absentia will prove a huge hit with international audiences – and I’m delighted to host its worldwide debut as part of our extensive line-up of prestigious events»
Absentia stars Stana Katic (Castle), Patrick Heusinger (Jack Reacher), Angel Bonanni (Shots Fired), Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey), Bruno Bichir (Narcos), Ralph Ineson (The Witch) and Richard Brake (Game of Thrones). While hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, FBI agent Emily Byrne (Katic) disappears without a trace and is declared dead. Six years later, she is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive, with no memory of what happened to her while she was in captivity. Returning home to learn that her husband (Heusinger) has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, Emily soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
Executive Producer and Director of Absentia is Oded Ruskin (False Flag), alongside Executive Producers Maria Feldman (False Flag, Fauda), Stana Katic, Matt Cirulnick and Julie Glucksman. The series is based on a pilot script originally written by Gaia Violo.
In further Monte-Carlo TV Fest news, Sony Pictures Television Networks’ new thriller Absentia has been set to open the event in its world premiere. Starring Stana Katic, the 10-part drama makes its broadcast debut this fall. She plays an FBI agent who disappears and is declared dead while hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers. Six years later, she is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive, with no memory of what happened to her while she was in captivity. Returning home to learn that her husband (Patrick Heusinger) has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
EXCLUSIVE: Stana Katic has been cast opposite Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell in Cadaver, the Screen Gems horror movie from Broken Road Productions. Grey Damon, Louis Herthum, Nick Thune, Max McNamara, Jacob Ming-Trent and Kirby Johnson have also joined the pic, which is being directed by Diederik Van Rooijen from Brian Sieve’s script.
Cadaver centers on Megan Reed (Mitchell), an ex-cop and recovering alcoholic who takes a graveyard shift at the morgue in the hospital where she got sober and uncovers more than she bargained for. Katic will play a nurse at the hospital who is sponsor to Mitchell’s character and arranged for the new job.
Sean Robins and Todd Garner are producing for Broken Road. Screen Gems’ Michael Bitar who brought in the project, and Scott Strauss will oversee for the studio.
It’s the latest news in a big week for Katic, who just wrapped eight seasons playing Kate Beckett on ABC’s Castle. As Deadline reported Wednesday, she is in final negotiations to play the lead in Absentia, a 10-episode straight-to-series crime thriller greenlighted by Sony Pictures Television Networks’ AXN. Her most recent feature,The Rendezvous, just had a special screening at the Mill Valley Festival. She is repped by Gersh and Principal Entertainment LA.
Damon (Aquarius) is repped by Paradigm and Thirdhill Entertainment. Herthum (Westworld) is repped by AKA Talent Agency. Thune (Dreamland) is repped by CAA. McNamara (Boyhood) is repped by Collier Talent Agency. Ming-Trent (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) is repped by Talent House. Newcomer Johnson is with Michael Wallach Management and Gar Lester Agency.
This is some pretty exciting news!! Not only will we get Stana back on our screens, but the plot itself sounds very interesting!
Stana Katic is returning to television. The former Castle star is in final negotiations to play the lead in Absentia, a 10-episode straight-to-series crime thriller greenlighted by Sony Pictures Television Networks’ AXN.
Produced by Tel Aviv-based Masha Productions, the series will begin filming early next year for a 2017 premiere on AXN’s worldwide channels. Sony Pictures Television will handle distribution in the U.S., where the show is yet to be shopped, and outside of AXN’s channel footprint.
Written/executive produced by Matt Cirulnick (South Beach), based on a pilot script originally written by Gaia Violo, Absentia centers on an FBI agent, to be played by Katic. While hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, the FBI agent disappears without a trace and is declared dead. Six years later, she is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive and with no memory of the years she was missing. Returning home to learn her husband has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
Oded Ruskin, known for the hit Israeli series False Flag, will direct all ten episodes of the series. Riskin also will produce with Masha TV’s Maria Feldman (Homeland, False Flag), Ruskin and Julie Glucksman.
“Absentia is the perfect blend of crime thriller and character-driven drama for the AXN audience,” said Marie Jacobson, EVP, Programming and Production at Sony Pictures TV Networks. “With a strong lead, Matt’s writing, and Oded’s direction, we have a signature series packed with suspense, surprise and emotional turns that feels distinctly AXN, and has great global potential,” said Jacobson.
Sony’s AXN networks broadcast in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe, with a programming slate focused on action, crime and mystery. The networks’ most recent drama series commissions include Hannibal, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, and Crossing Lines, with Donald Sutherland and Goran Visnjic.
Katic is coming off an eight-season stint as fan-favorite Kate Beckett on ABC’s Castle, which earned her three People’s Choice Awards. Her most recent feature, The Rendezvous, just had a special screening at the Mill Valley Festival. Katic, who also produces through her own company, Sine Timore Films, is repped by Gersh and Principal Entertainment LA.
No mention of Stana in this article, but the creator of Bookaboo has promised more info about Stana’s episode towards the middle of October.
The series, created by Lucy Goodman of Happy Films and produced by Happy Films and Sinking Ship Entertainment (Odd Squad, Annedroids), celebrates the fun and benefits of adults and children reading together, combining puppetry, live action and CGI animation. Each episode features a different celebrity guest, who goes “backstage” to share their favorite picture book with Bookaboo, the adorable world-famous drummer puppy and star of the show who needs to be read a book a day or he just can’t play.
The series follows Bookaboo as he tours the globe with his bandmates Paws and Growler, playing drums to packed stadiums of adoring fans. There’s only one hitch – Bookaboo just can’t play without a story a day! The precocious pup finds creative ways to avoid performing, leading to laugh-out-loud comedy sketches and silly songs. To empower Bookaboo to return to the stage, a famous face appears in each episode to share a favorite story. The picture book that the celebrity guest brings in the special “bookabag” is brought to life through animation and an interactive, energetic reading that restores Bookaboo’s “bojo.”
“Bookaboo is an exciting show developed to promote literacy by inspiring parents to read to and with their children and help instill a lifelong love of reading,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios. “Each episode incorporates funny storytelling and great books, specifically chosen to capture young viewers’ attention and imagination.”
“We’re thrilled to be working with Amazon Prime Video to bring Bookaboo and its important message to families all across the country,” said Goodman. “With only half as many parents reading to their kids as there were a generation ago, the time to make a difference is now. Every child should have the opportunity to share great books with someone they love.”
Bookaboo, which premiered in the UK in 2009, has aired on CITV in the UK, CBC in Canada and ABC2 in Australia.
The show will be performed by Tony Award and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots, Shuffle Along) on September 12; by film, television and stage star Justin Bartha (The Hangover, Lend Me a Tenor) on September 19; and byStana Katic, star of ABC’s “Castle”, on September 26.
WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT makes its New York Premiere in this limited engagement, playing Monday nights at Westside Theatre (407 W 43rd Street). Performances began on March 7.
No rehearsal. No director. No set. No spoilers. A different performer each night is handed the script for the first time as they step onto the stage. The rotating cast, each performing only one time ever, also features the previously announced: internet sensation, actor, and comedianRandy Rainbow (August 15) in a special benefit performance where all profits will be donated to the LGBT Center in Orlando, FL for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting; two-time Drama Desk Award winning stage and television star Michael Urie (August 22); and Emmy Award nominee and acclaimed stage actor Darren Criss (August 29).
Forbidden to leave his country, young Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour found a way for his voice to get out when he physically could not. This wildly entertaining and thought-provoking theatrical piece – where no audience can see the same show twice – blends drama, comedy and social experiment, providing audiences with a potent reminder of the transformative power of theatre.
The play had its world premiere in 2011 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, winning the Arches Brick Award, followed by presentations at Summerworks and Dublin Fringe Festival where it was awarded “Outstanding New Performance” and “Best New Performance” respectively. The play has since been translated into fifteen different languages and performed over 200 times worldwide – from London to Oslo, Athens, Berlin, Melbourne and Singapore – by such stars asMichael Shannon, John Hurt, Stephen Fry, Stephen Rea, Sinead Cusack, David Morse and more.
A portion of the play’s profits go to PEN International, the world’s leading association of writers working to promote literature and defend freedom of expression around the world (www.pen-international.org). White Rabbit Red Rabbit is produced in association with Aurora Nova Productions and Boat Rocker Entertainment.
For more, visit www.whiterabbitredrabbit.com.
Sister Cities, the independent film Stana worked on last year, will have the world premiere on July 29th at Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan. The run time is 87 minutes and tickets go on sale July 10th. Stana plays the oldest sister Carolina, and the film also stars Jess Weixler, Michelle Trachtenberg, Troian Bellisario, Jacki Weaver, Amy Smart, Alfred Molina and Kaia Gerber. Hopefully we’ll get more info on distribution after the film premieres.
In this twisty and finely-observed family drama of Chekhovian simplicity, four estranged and wildly different sisters—each named after the city they were born in—are called home following the death of their mother. Free-spirited force of nature Mary Baxter lived a whirlwind life, and left her daughters adrift in her wake. After they arrive for Mary’s funeral, a raging storm traps them together in the house. Clashes ensue, old flames reappear, vodka is consumed, memories are triggered, and secrets bubble up, forcing them to confront the things they love about each other, and the things they’d just as soon forget. By turns awkward, funny, and moving, much like real-life family reunions, the fiery and forceful women at the film’s center give this American dramedy a winning appeal. Featuring an all-star cast including Jackie Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook“), Stana Katic (“Castle”), Troian Bellisario (“Pretty Little Liars”), Michelle Trachtenberg, and TC’s own Amy Smart, we are excited to play host to this film’s world premiere. In Person: Director Sean Hanish; Actress Amy Smart.