Andrey Zvyagintsev

Andrey Zvyagintsev

Paramount Television said on Thursday (March 1) it is developing a dramatic thriller from Oscar-nominated director Andrey Zvyagintsev in what will be the Russian auteur’s first television project.

Zvyagintsev, whose Loveless competes for the best foreign-language Academy Award on Sunday, created the original idea with Oleg Negin and will direct the first two episodes and serve as executive producer.

The parties revealed little about the untitled series, except to say it will be in Russian and takes place in contemporary Moscow.

Alexander Rodnyansky will also serve as executive producer. Zvyagintsev, Negin and Rodnyansky collabprated on Leviathan and Elena.

“It has long been a priority of Paramount Television to reach television audiences around the world with stories and themes that speak to them,” Amy Powell, president of Paramount Television, said.

“Zvyagintsev is behind some of the most powerful, cinematic storytelling for Russian audiences today and we are excited to team up with him for his first television series.”

“I believe that we have a very powerful human story to tell for the international audience and I couldn’t wish for a better partner to do that with than Paramount TV,” Zvyagintsev said.

Paramount Television and Anonymous Content recently acquired rights to develop a series based on Gregory David Roberts’ bestseller Shantaram. The partners have also optioned the rights to Diksha Basu’s upcoming debut novel The Windfall, about an Indian couple in Delhi who are suddenly catapulted from their humble middle-class origins into massive wealth. Both projects will shoot in India.

Earlier this week Paramount Television announced that UTA agent David Flynn would be joining as executive vice-president of international strategy.