Kirill Serebrennikov to Make TV Directing Debut With Erotic, Subversive ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Mini-Series for Pathe (EXCLUSIVE)

Kirill Serebrennikov, the celebrated Russian playwright and director whose last three films competed at Cannes, is set to create and direct a sensual, gothic TV adaptation of “The Phantom of the Opera,” Gaston Leroux’s 19th century novel.

Serebrennikov’s TV debut, the subversive six-part miniseries will be shot in English and is being produced by Aude Albano at Pathé, in association with Ilya Stewart at Hype Studios. The latter has collaborated with Serebrennikov on his critically acclaimed movies, including “Leto,” “Petrov’s Flu” and “Tchaikovsky’s Wife,” all of which have played at Cannes.

Described as a “riveting psychological thriller with horrific undertones” by the production team, the story of “The Phantom of the Opera” revolves around an up-and-coming artist, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a disfigured musical genius, a monster haunting the Paris Opera House. Known as the Phantom of the Opera, the maleficent figure is a controlling, psychopathic specter who has fallen in love with his instrument and spreads death and chaos to remain the undisputed master of the Opera, and of Christine’s heart. Torn between her repulsion and attraction to the phantom, Christine will have to take control over her own destiny as a woman and as an artist. But that journey leads her to dive deep into the darkest corners of her soul.

The modern adaptation will tell the story from the point of view of Christine as she embarks on a dark romance with the phantom, exploring themes of creation, control, grief, exclusion and emancipation.

Our story will transcend the boundaries of Gaston Leroux’s text, written more than a century ago, and will become the story of the intimate world of the opera,” said Serebrennikov, a revered international opera and theater director who has been hailed as a key figure of contemporary stage creation.

“The opera world is an immaterial force which truly and so precisely reflects the ups and downs of our lives and of our society, with music playing a central and passionate role,” he continued. Serebrennikov will debut his first collaboration with the Paris Opera House in September with Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin.”

Albano said Pathé was looking forward to seeing Serebrennikov “revisit such a key piece of French culture through his outstanding artistry.”

“Kirill’s acute ability to dive into cursed characters’ psyches mixed with his vibrant art direction and deep knowledge of the Opera world will bring a brand new perspective to the world-famous tale, to create a very unique international drama matching Pathé’s ambitions in the series world,” Albano continued.

Stewart, meanwhile, said “Kirill’s singular vision, as well as his incredible passion and drive for both cinema and the opera puts him in a unique position to adapt this story for a contemporary audience.” 

“We are thrilled to be partnering once again with Pathe on what will be Kirill’s first experience with the limited series format, and is an exciting opportunity to reach a global audience,” Steward added.

Serebrennikov is already working with Pathé on “Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie,” an English-language film about radical Russian poet and political dissident Eduard Limonov, which is played by British actor Ben Whishaw. His pipeline of anticipated films also includes “The Disappearance of Josef Mengele.”

Serebrennikov and Stewart are represented by CAA and Granderson Des Rochers LLP. 

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