Ricky Gervais will star in new TV comedy series Greenlight – German Genius, WarnerMedia Germany has announced.
The eight-part satire series is based on an actual Twitter exchange between Gervais and Kida Khodr Ramadan in 2018, where the comedian praised the actor’s performance in 4 Blocks.
In the show, Ramadan and Gervais will play fictionalised versions of themselves. The plot sees Ramadan convince Gervais to give him the rights for a German adaptation of Extras, only to face production hurdles in tailoring the humour and cast for a German audience.
Filming has kicked off on the show in Berlin, with the supporting cast featuring many German actors, musicians and comedians. The cast includes Detlev Buck, Frederick Lau, Tom Schilling, Veysel Gelin, Olli Schulz, Heike Makatsch and Katrin Bauerfeind.
Speaking about the show (via Deadline), Anke Greifeneder, vice president of original production at WarnerMedia, said: “Greenlight – German Genius satirises the German media landscape and at the same time its own origins – Ricky Gervais’ tweet – did actually happen and ultimately led to the idea for the series.
“After the mockumentary Other Parents (Andere Eltern) and the dramedy The Mopes, we are once again showing a completely different variety of humour in our latest Warner TV Original and are delighted to have attracted this outstanding cast.”
Detlev Buck, Cüneyt Kaya, Constanin Lieb and Seraina Nyikos have written the script, with Kaya and Buck also directing.
4 Blocks is a German drama series starring Ramadan as Ali ‘Toni’ Hamadi, the leader of a drug cartel in Berlin which has connections with Arab crime families. It received critical acclaim in Germany and won six German Television Awards.
Gervais will also star in After Life season three, after the Netflix show’s second season won Best Comedy at the National Television Awards. Filming on the third season began in April, with a release date yet to be announced.
In NME’s four-star review of season two, the show is described as “some of [Gervais’s] most moving work to date” and his “most rewarding”.