Poland-based pay TV provider SPI International / Filmbox will coproduce a new Steven Seagal television drama, General Commander.
SPI and its president, Loni Farhi, will coproduce the series with Sarandan Media. The company has acquired tights in Africa, Eastern Europe, ex-Yugoslavia, the CIS and Baltic regions, Latin America, Portugal, Turkey and the Middle East.
General Commander follows the missions of a top secret, rogue international paramilitary unit that fights major criminal organisations in a bid to stop World War III.
Seagal will star. His previous TV series include Steven Seagal: Lawman and True Justice, both of which he created himself.
Bey Logan and Phillipe Martinez are writing the series, with filming begins in Europe and Asia in September ahead of a premiere on Filmbox channels in 2018.
SPI is following in the footsteps of European pay TV services such as Canal+, Movistar, Sky and Altice, all of which have moved heavily into international coproduction of high-end drama.
The business currently has more than 30 channels operating across five continents, and is now moving into original programming to complement its usual staple of acquisitions.
“We have been expanding distribution of the FilmBox movie channel in the CIS, the Baltics, Middle East, Turkey, Africa and across CEE,” said Farhi. “We are now gathering content to launch FilmBox and FilmBox Action in Latin America, India and across other markets.
“Coproductions like General Commander and high level content acquisitions are clearly showing our commitment to our channels and the new markets that we are entering.”