Leonard Cohen And Muse Marianne Ihlen Subject Of New Drama Series From ‘Marcella’ Outfit, ‘Lilyhammer’ Scribe, Canada’s Connect3 & Norway’s NRK — Mip TV

April 04, 2022

By Jesse Whittock, Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Leonard Cohen’s relationship with muse Marianne Ihlen is going under the microscope in a 1960s-set drama co-production for Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The UK’s Buccaneer Media (MarcellaCrime) and Dag and Lilyhammer writer Øystein Karlsen’s Oslo-based Redpoint Productions are co-producing So Long, Marianne with Canada’s Connect3 Media.

The 8×45 minutes series is billed by producers as an “intimate” story of “two equally lonely people falling in love in a period of their life when they are still trying to figure out who they are”.

Buccanneer is heading to Mip TV in Cannes this week to attract distributors and broadcasters.

A majority of the series will be set on the Greek island of Hydra where the pair met before starting a chaotic relationship that inspired the late singer-songwriter to pen songs such as ‘So Long, Marianne’, ‘That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ and ‘Bird On The Wire’.

Scenes will also be set in Ihlen’s hometown Oslo, plus London, New York and Montreal. Cineflix Media-backed Connect3 is handling Canadian elements of the production, which is slated to begin in February 2023. Buccaneer, founded by prolific UK producer Tony Wood, also has backing from Canada-UK producer-distributor Cineflix.

Wood developed So Long, Marianne with Ingebord Klyve. Karlsen, who also wrote on Acorn TV drama Whitsable Pearl, is writing the scripts. 

Cast on the English and Norwegian-language show will be announced “in the very near future”, according to Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart, whose indie Buccaneer is currently developing a pair of Irvine Welsh dramas for TV, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins and The Blade Artist.

Executive producers are NRK’s Marianne Furevold-Boland, Buccaneer’s joint CEOs Wood and Tulk-Hart, Redpoint’s Klyve and Karlsen and Connect3’s Pablo Salzman. NRK retains sales rights in Scandinavia.

NRK’s Furevold-Boland and Head of Content Commissioning and Sales Petter Wallace said writer Karlsen had “shown in his previous projects that he can create original dramas that are both exciting and emotion… We believe this project has the potential to become a timeless drama with universal appeal – it is about life and the pursuit of happiness.”