The Tunnel: Clémence Poésy to star in remake of The Bridge about Anglo-French tensions

Nordic 'noir' drama The Bridge to be remade by Sky Atlantic as The Tunnel

The mutilated body of a leading politician is found in the middle of the Channel Tunnel, throwing a mismatched British and French detective together.

The Bridge, the moody Nordic series which became a cult BBC hit last year, is to be remade as The Tunnel, with Anglo-French tensions at the heart of the drama.

The latest subtitled Scandinavian import to follow the success of The Killing and Borgen, The Bridge, a collaboration between Swedish and Danish broadcasters, attracted a weekly audience of one million viewers on BBC4.

The Bridge followed the uneasy relationship between Swedish homicide detecitve Saga Noren , blunt to the point of rudeness with an obsessive personality and Martin Rohde, her laid-back Danish compatriot, who are forced to work together when a body is found on the bridge which links their two nations.

The series proved so popular that it has now become an international format with countries, seeking to adapt it to reflect occasionally irritable relationships with their closest neighbours.

Sky Atlantic HD will collaborate with French broadcaster CANAL + and Kudos TV, British creators of Life On Mars, for an Anglo-French remake which will be shown in both countries this Autumn.

The Bridge has become The Tunnel, with the story beginning when the body of a prominent French politician is found in an area marking the border between Britain and France.

Stephen Dillane, star of Game Of Thrones, plays the British detective, Karl Roebuck, sent to investigate. Clémence Poésy (Birdsong) is his French counterpart, Elise Wassermann, with the action set against the backdrop of a Europe in crisis.

Once again, the duo are contrasting personalities, whose approach to the job reflects aspects of their national character.

Keeley Hawes and Joseph Mawle also appear in the series, which will be bilingual, with subtitles for viewers whose French (or English across the Channel) is not up to speed.

Manda Levin, series producer at Kudos, said: “The ancient and tumultuous history between Britain and France was one of the reasons for reinventing The Bridge with the two countries.

“There is a lot of fun to be had exploring the cultural differences between Britain and France through the characters but it won’t be done in a clichéd or obvious way. It’s about the burgeoning relationship between two very different people.”

Ms Levin added: “The series is also about Britain in Europe. What does a British identity mean in this multi-cultural, globally mixed-up world?”

The series will be shot in Calais, Folkestone, Shepway and Dover. The producers are currently negotiating permission from Eurotunnel to shoot key scenes in the Tunnel.

An Anglo-French writing team will be led by Ben Richards (Spooks), with a French director taking control of the opening episode. There will be roughly equal number of French and British actors but no national quotas. “It’s great because we get to cast lots of terrific French actors,” said Ms Levin.

The producers also hope to emulate the chic interiors which have become a feature of the Nordic dramas embraced by British viewers.

Ms Levin said: “Harbour towns like Folkestone have their own dirty beauty which will be one element of the visual look. But Karl’s wife is an interior designer so we’ve given him a funky apartment too.”

International adaptations of The Bridge will continue with a US version called The Border involving American and Mexican detectives.

The Tunnel’s producers believe Britain’s military support for French-led efforts to expel Islamic extremists from Mali adds an element of prescience to their story of Anglo-French co-operation.

Although the BBC acquired The Bridge, which will return for a second series, Ms Levin said Kudos had chosen to partner with Sky Atlantic for the remake as it was the “channel with the ambition to make a bold, bilingual drama.”

BSkyB has committed to investing £600 million a year in British programmes across its channels. Dominic Cooper will take the lead role in another Sky Atlantic series, Fleming, based on the life of the James Bond creator, Ian Fleming.

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before