Saturday, June 03, 2023

‘Sisi’ Producer Story House Taps N’gone Thiam for ‘Mozart/Mozart’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Currently shooting “Sisi” for the RTL Group and Beta Film, Germany’s Story House Pictures has added N’Gone Thiam to the core writing team of six-hour suspense drama “Mozart/Mozart,” another powerhouse IP production, currently in development, which it will unveil an Series Mania.

“We’re super proud to have a young German writer of African heritage writing with us,” said Andreas Gutzeit, showrunner and managing director at Story House Pictures.

He added: “We’ve known N’gone from some prestigious writing seminars where she wrote very loud and very colorful scripts and we said that’s exactly what this show needs. She’s a new exciting and very original voice on her first major international series.” Thiam was chosen as one of six Story House writers, out of over 600 candidates.

On “Mozart/Mozart,” a series which is inspired by true facts and has a large contemporary resonance, Thiam joins Gutzeit, a showrunner and head writer on “Sisi” and “Dignity,” the latter for HBO, Amazon Latin America and Germany’s Joyn, as well as Swantje Oppermann, a staff writer on “Dignity” and a Story House development executive.

In the series, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is the wunderkind of his family, composing his first symphony at the age of nine. But his sister, Maria Anna, a pianist, is just as talented, though encouraged by her father, Leopold, to stay at home and get married.

When Wolfgang Amadeus slowly goes mad, to save the family’s finances, his sister Maria Anna pretends to be him – under those colorful wigs and crazy costumes, nobody can tell the difference – conducting at the Viennese court, and even weaving her own compositions into performances, much to Wolfgang’s consternation.

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Copyright: Story House Pictures

Her talent, determination – and also beauty – attract the attention of composer Salieri, who threatens to blow Maria Anna’s cover. The siblings have to pull together and do everything to protect Mozart’s legacy.

Gutzeit will serve as “Mozart/Mozart” showrunner, Oppermann and Thiam as writers.

“In the style of genre bending historical series such as ‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘The Great,’ ‘Mozart/Mozart’ is an intoxicating drama about genius, madness, and self-realization,” said Gutzeit. “Wolfgang lives a life filled with music, mistresses, and mania. And when he is about to implode, it is up to his sister Maria Anna to take up his persona and save the ‘Mozart firm’ with her own set of extraordinary talents: Colorful, loud, and unstoppable.”

Gutzeit also stressed to Variety the contemporary relevance of the “Mozart/Mozart” story.

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Andreas Gutzeit

“We want this to be fun, a rock ‘n roll piece on Mozart, who was music’s first superstar. Just like every superstar that comes after him, he is headed straight for a self-destructive supernova.

When Maria Anna steps up, it’s obviously against Wolfgang’s wishes. “He’s dead afraid of losing his legacy and position. All these themes ring true in today’s entertainment industry and are recognizably relevant to young audiences,” Gutzeit argued.

Story House is exploring with conductors and composers how to incorporate Mozart’s music in a modern way into the series,  rendering it accessible to a younger audience.

Berlin and Munich-based, Story House Pictures is currently in production on “Sisi” in collaboration with Austria’s Satel Film, led by Heinrich Ambrosch and Bettina Kuhn, and Beta Film, which also oversees international sales. Germany’s RTL Group streaming service TVNow plans to release “Sisi” at the end of this year.


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