British broadcaster Sky announces a new eight-part thriller called ‘The Rising’, which is adapted from the 2017 Belgian crime thriller ‘Hotel Beau Séjour’, an original series by production company De Mensen. This supernatural thriller tells the story of a young woman, Kato (played by Lynn Van Royen), who finds her own dead body in the hotel Beau Séjour, and starts investigating her own murder. The series was an instant success in its local market, with an average market share of 44,3%. The original Flemish version was also sold to other territories such as France (Arte), Germany (Arte), The Netherlands (NPO) and was one of the first Belgian series to close a worldwide deal with Netflix with Lagardère Studios Distribution handling international distribution rights. The series won a number of awards, such as the Audience Award at Séries Mania, and the award for Best Actress at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. Renowned author Stephen King tweeted about Hotel Beau Séjour: ‘Eccentric, brilliant, and strangely touching. Supernatural fare for those who don’t ordinarily like it.
The Rising is the first series produced entirely in-house from Sky Studios, Sky’s production and development arm, who are working with executive producer Julian Stevens, producer of The Fall (BBC Two) and Informer (BBC Two). Rising star Clara Rugaard is set to star as the lead in the eight-part Sky Original drama. Hotel Beau Séjour’s unique concept is what made Stevens set his mind on the remake rights. The UK remake now being a reality, is tremendously rewarding to the original’s creators.
Nathalie Basteyns, director: “15 years ago my dad boughted me dinner at thel Beau Séjour hotel. I never forgot about the place. Several years later, I went back with (co-director) Kaat and I was thrilled. We’re really proud that Sky believes in the series.”
Sanne Nuyens, screenwriter: “It’s fantastic that Flemish series are gaining more and more attention and producers in other territories are willing to adapt them. It was great that De Mensen believed in the out-of-the-ordinary concept from the start and that we, as beginning screenwriters, got a chance to develop our idea. Sky’s adaptation is a big compliment to us.”
Bert Van Dael, screenwriter: “I am really proud and honored that our simple idea about a young murdered woman in a small local hotel now takes us to the Lake Disctrict in the UK. I’m really looking forward to see the result and whether they will eat the same amount of the locally famous pie our Belgian characters did.”
Pieter Van Huyck, Head of Scripted at De Mensen: “I’m not only speaking for myself when I believe that the UK is the absolute reference when it comes to crime series. The fact that our Flemish crime series is making the opposite direction into a UK adaptation, is a boost for us as producers and for our industry. Professor T, another De Mensen series is also being adapted for the English-language market and a lot of other Flemish series are broadcasted outside Flanders. It strengthens our conviction that Flemish series are an important export product. Together with our talent, our broadcasters and streaming services and the help of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund we’re paving the road for more…”
Lynn Van Royen, lead in Hotel Beau Séjour: “Kato will always be in my heart. Hotel Beau Séjour was an unforgettable production and an amazing story to be a part of. I’m curious how Clara Rugaard will portray the role. “
In the UK, Ireland, Italy and Germany, The Rising will launch on Sky One in 2022. In the UK, Ireland and Italy, it will also be available on streaming service NOW, as well as Sky Ticket devices in Germany, Sky X in Austria and Sky Shows in Switzerland. International sales for The Rising will be handled by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios. As one of Belgium’s leading producers, De Mensen has been developing and producing highquality and highly-rated scripted and unscripted television shows and feature films since 2001. The production company is active in almost all tv genres. Since 2012, De Mensen has expanded its activities into feature film production and fiction for television, with productions as Brothers United, Hotel Beau Séjour, Highway of Love, Generation B, Team Chocolate, Undercover, The Bank Hacker, Professor T., Salamander, Fiskepark, 3Hz, Façades,… The productions made by De Mensen have won several awards at national and international television festivals and are broadcasted and adapted in dozens of other countries. International partners of De Mensen include: ZDF, Netflix, NPO, Arte, Canal+, RAI, Beta Film, Lagardère, Federation Entertainment, Keshet … In 2019, French producer Newen took a majority interest in De Mensen.