‘Chernobyl’ Director Johan Renck Teams With ‘Spaceman’ Producer Michael Parets To Launch Sinestra; Firm Lands Fremantle Deal

Chernobyl director Johan Renck and Spaceman producer Michael Parets have launched a production company.

Sinestra debuts with a two-year television first-look deal with Fremantle, and the pair has already set their debut TV project: an adaptation of Antoine Wilson’s novel Mouth to Mouth, which is billed as “a thrilling ride into the raucous LA art scene of the 1990s.” The book was included on President Barack Obama’s 2022 summer reading list.

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Renck is best known for HBO and Sky’s critically acclaimed limited series Chernobyl (HBO/Sky), which starred the likes of Jared Harris and Emily Watson, earned 10 Emmy wins and is one of the best reviewed TV shows of all time. He also directed all episodes and co-produced the BAFTA-nominated Sky and Canal+ drama The Last Panthers, starring John Hurt and Samantha Morton, and directed pilots and episodes of Vikings, Bloodline, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Bates Motel among others.

He is currently in pre-production on the pilot for Dune: The Sisterhood for HBO Max and most recently directed Netflix’s upcoming feature Spaceman, which stars Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan and Paul Dano. Parets, Sinestra’s co-founder, is the film’s producer. Deadline has had several scoops on Spaceman, including news of Renck’s involvement back in 2017 when it was known as The Spaceman of Bohemia — the name of the Jaroslav Kalfar’s novel it is based on.

Parets most recently worked at Free Association, running its film and TV division, where he developed and produced Spaceman. Before that he worked for FilmNation.

“As we come together to launch Sinestra as a home for ambitious, bracing storytelling, we’re thrilled to have found the perfect partners in Fremantle,” said Renck and Parets in a statement. “They know how to push artists and their audiences out of their comfort zones and into the invigorating creative space where true risk is rewarded. We can’t wait to see what kind of trouble we get into with them.”

Christian Vesper, President of Global Drama at Fremantle, added: “I have long been a fan of Johan and Michael’s work and it is a real privilege to welcome them, and the whole team at Sinestra, to the Fremantle family. We are in no doubt that together we will bring some exceptional projects to audiences around the world, and we are honoured that they have chosen to work with us.”

As such, Fremantle will be the new home for all of Sinestra’s TV projects. Selected projects will be co-owned, co-developed and co-produced, with Fremantle leading on physical production, raising production finance and handling international sales.

Vesper and Seb Shorr, Fremantle’s Executive Vice President, Commerical and Business Affairs, Scripted brokered the deal with Renck’s team at Casarotto Ramsay & Associates, CAA, Black Bear Pictures and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

Mouth to Mouth author Wilson is represented by CAA.

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