WarnerMedia has been rolling out HBO Max around the world over the last few months and has been ramping up the number of international originals that it orders.
The company has now revealed that it is launching its first international original day-and-date in the U.S. and globally and has plans for more.
Danish drama series Kamikaze will be the first show, commissioned and produced out of Europe, that will bow on the service everywhere HBO Max is available at the same time.
It brings the streamer in line with rivals such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple in terms of launching shows in all of its markets at the same time, giving series the opportunity to create a global buzz on social media and replicate the success of breakout local-language hits such as Netflix’s Squid Game.
Kamikaze, which is based on the novel Muleum by Erlend Loe, follows the fierce and charming 18-year-old Julie, played by Marie Reuther on a journey of rediscovery, after losing her parents and brother in a plane crash.
Suddenly, she finds herself alone in a large mansion with expensive cars in the garage, and, in theory, everything that most people only dream of: youth, beauty and money – lots of money – but material possessions hold no value to her anymore and she is forced to search for a reason to go on. She embarks on a wild and turbulent trip that takes her from her native Denmark to the far corners of the world.
The eight-part series, which premieres in 46 countries on November 14, is written by Johanne Algren and produced by Profile Pictures Ditte Milsted.
WarnerMedia execs told Deadline that this will be the first of a number of shows that will roll out at the same time around the world.
Christina Sulebakk, General Manager HBO Max EMEA, said Kamikaze was “one of those shows that will resonate with viewers wherever they are”. “As HBO Max goes global, we are excited to give subscribers worldwide day and date access to this masterful piece of storytelling and introduce them to the exceptional performance from lead Marie Reuther,” she said.
The company has been ramping up its international originals since it launched across Central and South America in June and ahead of its roll out across Scandinavia later this month. Although the platform won’t launch in the UK, Germany and Italy until at least 2025 as a result of its partnership with Comcast-owned Sky, it will launch across much of Europe in 2022.
Earlier this week, the streamer unveiled German drama series Para – We Are King from Dark and 4 Blocks producer W&B Television.
The series follows four young women, who are friends for life, that grew up on the rough streets of Berlin’s Wedding district. They’re about to enter adulthood with uncertain futures ahead of them, but one thing is certain: They have big dreams. An accidental find gives them hope for quick money and a better life, but their friendship is put to the test.
It also greenlit six-part Eastern European comedy The Winner, directed by Berlinale winning director Jan Hřebejk, which tells the story of Viktor Hudák, a fictional Prime Minister of a small European country ending his career in politics and returning to everyday life.
These shows join the likes of Spanish drama series Patria, a period drama about two women whose lives change when one of their husbands is killed by Basque terrorists, and 30 Coins, a mystery exorcism horror thriller, which have already launched on the service in the U.S. as well as Veneno, Perfect Life (Vida Perfecta) and Paradise (Paraíso).
Jason Kilar, CEO WarnerMedia, told Deadline that in Latin America alone it has 150 projects in development and various stages of production.
“We have a lot of content that’s going to be valuable worldwide. But as we go to those regions, there’s no question that a big factor for success is stuff bought, shot and stories told locally,” HBO Max GM Andy Forssell added. “The good news for us is in the vast majority of those markets worldwide we’ll enter, the larger Warner Bros. has production going on, they have talent relationships.”