Andy Serkis & Newen prep Marie Tussaud drama with ex-TF1 drama chief

Black Panther

Venom and Black Panther star Andy Serkis is attached as showrunner and director on a period drama exploring the life of Marie Tussaud, the French artist known for her wax sculptures and the now world-famous museum Madame Tussauds.

France’s Newen Connect, the sales arm of TF1 Group’s Newen Studios, will distribute the show, which has been created by Serkis and which is being co-developed with his UK-based company, Imaginarium Productions. Its co-founder, Jonathan Cavendish, will produce for Imaginarium along with Marie Guillaumond, the former head of drama at TF1 who set up Felicita Films in 2019.

The story will track Tussaud’s life from 18th Century Paris, where she honed her craft during the age of enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, before travelling to England to launch the museum in 1835 and putting the business before everyone else.

Serkis said: “This is no straight up period drama, it is a hilariously crazy, no holds barred, anarchic, punk caper conjured from the curiously twisted mind of a fabulously post-truth executioner’s daughter. Marie knows one thing very clearly – if you’re going to tell your own life story, make it entertaining, even if you have to make it up, and whatever happens, cut out the boring bits.”

Rodolphe Buet, CEO at Newen Connect, added: “Teaming up with The Imaginarium UK anchors the strategy of Newen Connect to support producers in the development and research of financing for ambitious coproduction projects. We cannot wait to present the series to partners and to discover the life of Marie Tussaud on screen through the remarkable vision of Andy Serkis.”

The show joins a growing slate for Serkis and Cavendish’s prodco, which was set up with the support of Red Arrow Studios in 2015. The Imaginarium also behind Fungus the Bogeyman for Sky, Death And Nightingales for the BBC and the upcoming The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself for Netflix.

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