Disney+ Hotstar Plans ‘Special Ops Universe’; Nordisk & MRP Output Deal; UK Casting Directors’ Guild Inclusion Group – Global Briefs

Indian streaming major Disney+ Hotstar has put the wheels in motion on major new project Special Ops Universe, a multi-series spin-off format of its recent espionage thriller Special Ops. Created by Neeraj Pandey, the project will span numerous incarnations, including Special Ops season 1.5: The Himmat Story, which will tell the back story of Kay Kay Menon’s character Himmat Singh. Like Special Ops, the show will be shot across multiple international locations. “Within weeks of its launch, Special Ops emerged as one of the biggest shows of 2020,” said Sunil Rayan, President of Disney+ Hotstar. “We’re excited to venture in this nonlinear format of storytelling that brings alive an entire universe; where stories and different characters can simultaneously co-exist. The scale at which this is being conceived is enormous and speaks of our passion for creating world-class entertainment for our audiences.”

Leading Nordic distributor Nordisk Film has signed a development and distribution output deal with Finnish production company MRP Matila Röhr Productions. The agreement will see any features produced by MRP go exclusively to Nordisk for distribution, with the first such project set for 2022. In the pipeline is Hamsters, a drama-comedy produced by Marko Röhr and Hanna Kauppi and directed by Markku Pölönen; Never Alone, by director Klaus Härö and producer Ilkka Matila; and Malcolm Rocks, which is an animated Scandinavian co-production about a small green caterpillar’s aspiration to hit it big in the rock scene. The deal also includes the rights to MRP’s back catalogue of 43 titles, which Nordisk will represent in the Nordic territory.

The UK’s Casting Directors’ Guild has formalized its equality, diversity and inclusion group in a bid to tackle ongoing representation challenges in the industry. Jane Anderson and Stuart Burt join ongoing members Victor Jenkins (Chair), Jessica Ronane (Vice Chair), Andy Brierley and Kate Ringsell on the org’s committee. The EDI group consists of 12 CDG members and will work to update the Guild’s code of conduct, as well as implementing further changes such as introducing a paid casting internship for under represented groups.

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