Sky Atlantic has boarded edgy heist drama The Panthers, a co-production with premium French broadcaster Canal+ and indie Warp Films.
The broadcaster is currently in a development process with the 6 x 60-minute series, although it is expected to move to full order in the coming weeks.
The £13m series would be Sky’s second major French co-production following its recent deal to co-produce The Tunnel, Kudos’s remake of Scandinavian drama The Bridge, with Canal+.
The Panthers is based on the true story of an international crime gang that emerged from the former Yugoslavia after the Balkan war. The gang, which was known as the Pink Panthers and included former Serbian soldiers, robbed luxury boutiques across Europe and was involved in weapons and drug trafficking.
Each episode will follow a heist in a glamorous location, such as Monaco or Dubai, and will centre on three characters: a gang member, a female British loss-adjuster embroiled in the dodgy jewellery trade, and a French policeman.
The bi-lingual series is being produced by Warp Films and Haut et Court, the production company behind Les Revenants (Rebound), the French zombie drama recently acquired by Channel 4.
Warp has made Channel 4’s forthcoming Tony Grisoni-penned drama Southcliffe and Sky Living’s Talking To The Dead, as well as two series following on from This Is England.
The Panthers was created by Jerome Pierrat, a French investigative reporter specialising in organised crime, and Jean-Alain Laban, an up-and-coming crime novelist.
The series will be written by Pierrat and Jack Thorne, the Skins and This Is England writer who was recently commissioned to write Eleven Film’s E4 drama Glue.
The Panthers will be exec produced by Warp Films’ Peter Carlton, Haut et Court co-founder Caroline Benjo and Les Revenants producer Jimmy Desmarais.
The drama comes at a time when Sky Atlantic is ramping up its original commissions to sit alongside its US acquisitions, including Game Of Thrones and Mad Men. As well as The Tunnel, the channel has recently ordered Mr Sloane from Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Robert Weide
Sky managing director of content Sophie Turner-Laing is expected to announce another high-profile drama commission in her keynote speech at next week’s MipTV.