EXCLUSIVE: The Commune, an animated drama series about Israeli kibbutzim, is slated for an American remake with Orange is the new black writer Hilary Weisman Graham is writing an adaptation.
Weisman Graham, who created the Netflix lockdown drama Social distancing, has teamed up with Untitled Entertainment and Israeli companies HOT, Sumayoko and ADD Content Agency to adapt the series.
It will be known as Idyllic in the United States and is currently wrapped with Jennifer Levine and Stephanie Simon of Untitled Entertainment and ADD co-founder Hadas Mozes buying the projects from networks and streamers.
The Israeli series, produced by Sumayoko, is a comedic family drama about a group of friends who come together to deal with the collapse of their former home and tight-knit community.
It follows Yair, who is sent back to Israel from his life in Germany, where he currently lives with his girlfriend and has a promising career. Upon his arrival, he discovers that the kibbutz in which he was born and raised has fallen on hard times and is currently on the verge of bankruptcy. Yair learns that a few of his former kibbutz classmates are being kicked out of their current home – the former kibbutz packing house, located in a poor area of Tel Aviv. His classmates took care of Yogev, another classmate with special needs and a brain injury, resulting from a prank gone horribly wrong in their youth.
Yair’s former classmates are now being evicted by an official receiver who has sold the old packing house, which ultimately means Yogev could be left homeless. The guilt Yair feels over Yogev’s situation overwhelms him and he is forced to stay, deciding to help Yogev and the others. Along with his former classmates, who never really found themselves in the big city, Yair organizes a siege of the old packing house and they stumble upon a dangerous secret, hidden and covered up by the elderly founders of the kibbutz.
The series, which was created by Yona Rozenkier, Avner Shefa, Amitai Ashkenazi and Ori Weisbrod, aired as a 39-episode drama on HOT 3 in Israel with ADD launching it internationally.
It’s the latest Israeli series seeking an American adaptation – the country has had a remarkably good success rate with remakes such as Fatherland, the baker and the beautiful and Your Honor. HOT is solely responsible for series such as Be Tipul, also from HOT, being adapted as Processing for HBO, and Euphoria, also adapted by the WarnerMedia cable network as well as Lose Alice for Apple TV+.
Weisman Graham’s other credits include Showtime’s Joke and the fox BONE. She is also the author of reunited, a young adult novel published by Simon & Schuster and represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.