Alicia Vikander is set to star in Irma Vep, a limited series that will re-team HBO and A24 after their successful collaboration on the acclaimed Euphoria. Writer-director Olivier Assayas will helm the project, which is based on his own 1996 film of the same name.
According to HBO, Irma Vep “aims to reveals the uncertain ground that lies at the border of fiction and reality, artifice and authenticity, art and life”. Vikander will play Mira, an American movie star disillusioned by her career and a recent breakup, who comes to France to star as Irma Vep in a remake of the French silent film classic Les Vampires.
With the backdrop of a lurid crime thriller, Mira struggles as the distinctions between herself and the character she plays begin to blur and merge. Assayas’ original film starred Maggie Cheung and explored similar themes, but was also a meditation on the state of the French film industry at the time.
Vikander and Assayas will also executive produce alongside Euphoria duo Sam Levinson and Kevin Turen of Little Lamb, as well as Sylvie Barthet, Ashley Levinson and Stuart Manashil.
Vikander said in a statement: “I have been a long-time admirer of Olivier and his work. I am very excited for us to work together, and to be a part of the expanded universe of his superb cult classic, Irma Vep. There are a lot of brilliant people coming together and I am delighted to be partnering with HBO and A24 on this special project”.
Assayas added: “I am immensely grateful to Alicia, A24, and HBO for giving me the incredible opportunity to explore and expand Irma Vep in a series format. This is a comedy that will try and catch the zeitgeist the same way the original Irma Vep did, in a very different world, a very different era, that right now feels light years away”.
This is the second high-profile limited series Vikander has signed on for in as many months; in November she agreed to star in a gender-flipped version of Dial M For Murder. She’s also set to reprise her role as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider sequel that’s being directed by Ben Wheatley.
Assayas has always been a fascinating filmmaker interested in the strange links between art and life. He tackled a similar subject to Irma Vep in 2014’s Clouds Of Sils Maria. It will be cool to see what he brings to an American limited series, and it’s easy to imagine Irma Vep being unique enough to develop into a hit.
A24’s TV division are also behind Hulu’s award-winning series Ramy and Showtime’s comedy series Moonbase 8, while they’ve got Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s series Mr. Corman in the works at Apple.