Fremantle today announced a new deal with Hulu to bring Baghdad Central to the U.S. Produced by Fremantle’s UK drama label Euston Films, the six-part drama was written and created by BAFTA-nominated writer Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom, House of Saddam) based on the novel by Elliott Colla. Baghdad Central will launch on Channel 4 in the UK and stream on Hulu in 2020. Baghdad Central joins Hulu’s slate of compelling international content debuting in the U.S. including Das Boot, This Way Up and Prisoners of War.
Starring Waleed Zuaiter, Corey Stoll, Bertie Carvel, Clara Khoury, Leem Lubany, July Namir, and Neil Maskell, the series is set in October 2003, Baghdad has been occupied by US-led coalition forces for six months; but the disbandment of the Iraqi army, the police and civil leadership in the aftermath of the invasion, means there is no one in charge and no effective rule of law.
In the midst of this chaos, crime and paranoia, Iraqi ex-policeman Muhsin al-Khafaji (Waleed Zuaiter; The Spy, Omar, Altered Carbon) has lost everything and is battling daily to keep himself and his sick daughter, Mrouj (July Namir; Homeland, Collateral) safe. But when he learns that his estranged elder daughter Sawsan (Leem Lubany; Omar, Condor) is missing, Khafaji turns collaborator to find her.
Reclaiming his identity as a detective to solve a murder for the coalition forces he covertly pursues his own dangerous agenda. Khafaji feels powerless until he meets Frank Temple, an ex-Police Officer played by double Olivier Award-winner Bertie Carvel (Dr Foster, Jonathan Strange and Dr Norrell) who has arrived from Britain on a mission to rebuild the Iraqi Police Force from the ground up.
Temple recruits ex-cop Khafaji to give his operation some much-needed local credibility. But unbeknown to both Temple and his nemesis, upstanding American Military Police Captain John Parodi, played by Golden Globe-nominated Corey Stoll (House of Cards, First Man), Khafaji is compelled by his own, secret reasons to risk everything by collaborating with the occupying forces. But, as the addictive, thrilling world of Baghdad Central unfolds, he soon finds himself embarking on a wider quest for justice in a society that’s become truly lawless.
Caroline Kusser, EVP, Co-production and Distribution, US, International, Fremantle said, “Baghdad Central is a powerful crime story told from a very unique perspective. Taking place in a period of history that we’re all familiar with, the story is told from a unique perspective. Full of twists and turns; things and characters are not always what they seem, and we’re sure that Hulu’s audiences will be gripped by this series as the truth behind the secrets are revealed.”
Baghdad Central (6×60) was commissioned for Channel 4 by Beth Willis, Head of Drama with Commissioning Editor Manpreet Dosanjh and Commissioning Executive Jonny Richards. The series is produced by Euston Films (part of Fremantle). Executive Producers Kate Harwood, Stephen Butchard and Alice Troughton. Producer is Jonathan Curling (The Secret). Fremantle will act as the global distributor for the series. Alice Troughton (Doctor Who, Tin Star, A Discovery of Witches) is lead director and BAFTA-nominated Ben A. Williams (Humans, The Pass) directed the second block of filming.