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EMMY® AWARD-winning director Alan Taylor joins Intaglio Films and NDF International Production’s “THE SWARM”


Apr 08 2019

Cannes, 8 April 2019. Intaglio Films and ndF International Production have tapped Emmy® Award-winning director Alan Taylor for upcoming series The Swarm (Der Schwarm), an adaption of Frank Schätzing’s best-selling environmental thriller novel that has been translated into 25 languages. Production on the 8x45’ series is set to begin in early 2020.  

Taylor is currently directing David Chase’s “The Sopranos” feature for New Line and has helmed multiple episodes of acclaimed HBO series including “Game of Thrones”, “The Sopranos”, “Deadwood”, “Sex and the City”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “Bored to Death”, “Big Love” and “Oz”. His TV credits also include “Mad Men”, “Nurse Jackie”, “The West Wing” and “Homicide: Life on the Street”, along with feature films “Palookaville”, “Thor: The Dark World”, “The Emperor's New Clothes”, “Kill the Poor” and “Terminator: Genisys”.

Intaglio Films, the new scripted joint venture between Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises, and ndF International Production are developing The Swarm togetherfor German public broadcaster ZDF. To be shot in English, The Swarm will be one of the most ambitious television series ever to come from Europe and ZDF’s first big step towards launching major television events. Additional broadcasting partners will be announced soon. Frank Schätzing and the producers are currently considering the production of future seasons.

The Swarm will be featured as part of MIPTV’s In Development strand with a session entitled “Deep Dive into The Swarm: The Making of a Highly-Anticipated Drama Series” being held on Monday 8April, 2.45-3.30pm at Palais des Festivals, Esterel, Palais 5. The session is headed by Intaglio’s creative director Frank Doelger, Eric Welbers (CEO, ndF) and Frank Zervos (SVP Films and Series, ZDF). The panel will focus on adapting The Swarm from a best-selling novel into an international drama series and the team’s experience turning the book’s unique themes and gripping story into eight thrilling episodes.

Marking Intaglio Films’ debut production, Intaglio head and multi-Emmy® Award-winning creative director Frank Doelger (executive producer on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) is executive producing The Swarm, together with ndF’s managing director Eric Welbers in partnership with the rights holding company Swarm Production KG, run by Till Grönemeyer and owned by Athos, and Frank Schätzing and his publishing house Kiepenheuer & Witsch. Schätzing will serve as executive producer, with Friedemann Goez (“The Same Sky”) and Charlotte Groth also on board as producers.

For years, mankind has been looking up at the stars in search of another intelligent race - but what if all this time we’ve been looking in the wrong direction? The Swarm is a global environmental thriller, set in present day, where anomalies and unnatural behavior in marine animals are causing upheaval all over the world. Millions of strange worms suddenly appear on the bottom of the North Sea, drilling their way through frozen methane, threatening to destabilize the entire continental shelf. Swarms of mussels stop large vessels from maneuvering. Toxic jellyfish, lobsters and whales start attacking people along the coasts of the world. 

The Swarm follows a global group of scientists and militaries who come together to tackle one of the biggest challenges mankind has ever faced. They make the chilling discovery that we are not the only intelligent species on this planet – and that deep down at the bottom of the sea resides a collective intelligence which has suffered the ravages of civilization on its habitat and decided to fight back.

Alan Taylor said: “We all now are living at a time where there is a tremendous amount of material out there. It is rare to come across a show that is global in scale and yet really functions at an emotional and character level, while being highly relevant to what we are wrestling with today. It’s amazing material with the structure of a thriller. It builds towards an ending which I find devastating and transcendent, all at the same time. I’m very grateful to be a part of this.”

Intaglio’s Frank Doelger added: “We’re delighted that a director of Alan Taylor’s calibre is joining the talented team working on The Swarm. With Alan helming this epic-scale production - which is both immensely timely and gripping - and bringing his creative leadership and vision, we’re confident The Swarm will resonate with audiences both in Germany and globally.”

Frank Zervos, ZDF Senior Vice President Films and Series said: “We are so happy that Alan Taylor, one of the world’s most experienced and innovative directors of internationally successful high-end series, shares our excitement for Frank Schätzing’s The Swarm and is on board for its adaptation. This is immensely affirming. It shows that right now is the exact moment to make this gripping and important subject into a TV series that appeals to a large audience.”

ndF's Eric Welbers added: “Alan will definitely help us to make Frank Schätzing’s amazing The Swarm into the unique and compelling TV series we all want it to be."


For more information, please contact:
Aimée Norman, DDA Blueprint at +44 20 7932 9800
Dorothee Stoewahse, Beta Film Press, + 49 170 63 84 627
Anja Konen-Praxl, ndF,, + 49 89 95826 155

Notes to editors:

About Intaglio Films GmbH
Intaglio Films GmbH is a production joint venture between Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises. The company, headquartered in Berlin, develops, finances and produces scripted English language drama aimed at both the national and global market. Intaglio is headed by multi Emmy® Award winning producer Frank Doelger (Executive Producer on HBO’s Game of Thrones, John Adams, and Rome). Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises are supporting the company with their expertise in the field of international co-production and distribution. 


About ndF: International Production
ndF: International Production GmbH was founded as a subsidiary to ndF, one of the leading scripted TV production companies in Germany.  ndF produces German smash hits as “DER BERGDOKTOR”, “UM HIMMELS WILLEN“ and „AKTENZEICHEN XY“. ndF: International Production will focus on international Co-Productions and capitalize on Eric Welbers long experience in the field. Next to SWARM, ndF: International Production currently develops CROSSROADS, a co-production with Belgium power house De Mensen.