Andy Serkis will direct and produce a series based on the life on Marie Tussaud, famous for her titular wax museum in London. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Andy Serkis is set to direct and produce Madame!, an upcoming biopic period series about the life of Marie Tussaud, the 20th-century French artist famous for founding the iconic wax museum Madame Tussauds.
Serkis will helm the series through his Imaginarium Productions, which has signed a deal to produce the show alongside French studio TF1 and its distributor Newen Connect.
The show will follow the life of the titular Tussaud as she works to open her first wax museum in London in 1835, showing off the trials of an "extraordinarily pioneering businesswoman [who] built her business from scratch," according to Serkis.
"This is no straight-up period drama, it is a hilariously crazy, no holds barred, anarchic, punk caper conjured from the curiously twisted mind of a fabulously post-truth executioner's daughter," Serkis said in a statement to Variety. "Marie knows one thing very clearly -- if you're going to tell your own life story, make it entertaining, even if you have to make it up, and whatever happens, cut out the boring bits."
Rodolphe Buet, CEO of Newen Connect, said the series "depicts a visionary heroine who shook up conventions in the 18th century and whose journey as a strong independent woman managing to build an empire resonates particularly nowadays."
Buet added that the distributor's partnership with Serkis and Imaginarium "anchors the strategy of Newen Connect to support producers in the development and research of financing for ambitious co-production projects."
For Serkis, the project will be the latest in a series of high-profile shows being helmed by Imaginarium.
The company's previous TV credits include Fungus the Bogeyman and Death and Nightingales for British studios. Imaginarium will also be releasing the upcoming series The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself for Netflix, and is attached to helm an upcoming adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm.
The studio has also provided motion capture work for a number of blockbuster films, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Serkis has become world-famous for his portrayal of motion capture characters and has received several accolades for his performances, including a SAG Award, Empire Award and BAFTA.
His breakthrough role came when he portrayed the monster Gollum in The Lord of the Rings franchise.
He would garner further acclaim for portraying a pair of motion capture apes, King Kong in the 2005 film and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes trilogy.
Serkis is also an acclaimed director, having helmed the Jungle Book spinoff Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, as well as the 2021 Sony Pictures film Venom: Let There Be Carnage.