The Obamas have announced their first scripted series, and it’s set to be filmed right here in Ireland
The Obamas’ forthcoming true crime drama series is on track to start filming in Cork next week, and there’s plenty of Irish talent in starring roles.
Launching their new venture back in 2019, just three years after leaving the White House, Michelle and Barack Obama have been busy producing documentaries, children’s television programmes and films for Netflix under the Higher Ground Productions umbrella.
Now, they’ve finally announced their first scripted series, which is set to take the form of a true crime drama series under the working title of ‘Bodkin’.
Working alongside Netflix and independent wiip studio, Michelle and Barack Obama will be joined by creator and co-showrunner Jez Scharf, co-showrunner Alex Metcalf, David Flynn, Paul Lee, Nne Ebong, and Tonia Davis in executive producer roles.
Directed by Nash Edgerton, ‘Bodkin’ is set to begin production in Cork next week, with Will Forte, Robyn Cara, and Ireland’s very own Siobhan Cullen, David Wilmot, and The Young Offenders’ Chris Walley set to star.
Described as a ‘darkly comedic thriller’, the seven episode series follows a motley crew of podcasters as they set out to investigate the mysterious disappearance of three strangers in an idyllic, coastal Irish town.
As with all good thrillers: there’s a twist. Once they start pulling at threads, they quickly discover a story much bigger and weirder than they could have ever imagined. As they try to discern fact from fiction — about the case, about their colleagues, and about themselves — the series challenges our perception of truth and exposes the stories we tell ourselves to justify our beliefs or validate our fears.
Saturday Night Live funny man and the star of The Last Man on Earth, Will Forte will play the role of Gilbert, a charmingly enthusiastic podcaster whose family emigrated from Cork to Chicago, and he’s hoping to get back in touch with his Irish roots. On the surface, he looks innocent, but there’s something going on behind the surface that he’s hoping to avoid on his expedition to Ireland.
Robyn Cara, of We Die Young and Ackley Bridge plays an eager researcher, competent but gnawed by insecurities that she tries to cover up with humour. Dublin’s own Siobhán Cullen, who you may know from The Inside, takes on the role of a hard-nosed investigative journalist with a fine-tuned bullshit detector and a healthy disdain for authority and hypocrisy.
David Wilmot of Station Eleven and Ordinary Love plays a man who contains multitudes. Mercurial and mysterious, the character moves between charming and violent when under pressure. One half of The Young Offenders, Chris Walley plays a village local that’s along for the ride, but just so happens to be wrapped up in some pretty shady business, quickly wading out of his depth.
“We are ecstatic to partner with wiip for this wickedly wry thriller, which questions truth, narrative, and the very purpose of each,” said the Obamas’ Higher Ground Head of Film and Television, Tonia Davis.
“This entire creative team — Jez, Alex, Nash, and the phenomenal cast led by Will Forte and Siobhan Cullen — will bring to life something very special and we can’t wait to share it with audiences around the world.