RTÉ announces SundanceTV collaboration on Rebellion

October 2015

RTÉ is happy to announce U.S. network SundanceTV, founded by Robert Redford and now part of the AMC Networks stable, as co-production partner on the 1916 commemoration drama Rebellion, a five-part serial charting the birth of modern Ireland during one of the most disruptive and terrifying periods in history.

The powerful drama is produced by Touchpaper Television and Zodiak Media Ireland for RTÉ, in co-production with SundanceTV, and is written by Colin Teevan, directed by Aku Louhimies, and produced by Catherine Magee. Rebellion headed up Zodiak Rights’ scripted slate at MIPCOM 2015 with cast members Brian Gleeson and Ruth Bradley attending the market.

Rebellion begins with the outbreak of World War I. As expectations of a short and glorious campaign are dashed, social stability is eroded and Irish nationalism comes to the fore. The tumultuous events that follow are seen through the eyes of three young women and their families, lovers and friends from Belfast, Dublin and London as they play vital and conflicting roles in the narrative of Ireland’s independence. Some prioritise family loyalties; some are motivated by the noblest of ideals or opportunism; while others take up arms, prepared to sacrifice everything for the dream of a better society.

RTÉ head of television drama Jane Gogan said: “In Rebellion we endeavour to  portray the reality of life for people who were caught up in the events of the 1916 Rising. History only exists in retrospect and drama set in the past, at its best, tells a story that is only aware of the moment in which it exists. Writer Colin Teevan has brought to life this extraordinary story with fictional characters full of dreams, ambitions and determination and, or some cases, sheer bewilderment, to give us a drama set in a period of  dynamic change with themes that carry striking contemporary resonance. The collaboration with Sundance and Zodiak gives us a great opportunity to present the best Irish talent to a wider audience.”

Rebellion is a compelling drama rich with complex and inspiring characters, whose lives and homes are in the direst state of upheaval," said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. "Sharing this story about the history of Ireland and its people is so important to SundanceTV not only because it underscores our commitment to showcasing unique voices from around the globe, but also because we believe the struggles and triumphs seen throughout the series will resonate strongly with audiences today. We're looking forward to partnering with Zodiak and RTÉ on bringing Rebellion to life."

The star-studded cast includes Brian Gleeson (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Bachelor Weekend); Charlie Murphy (Love/Hate, Philomena); Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones); Ruth Bradley (Humans) and Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful,). The executive producers are Rob Pursey, Jane Gogan, Christian Vesper, Colin Teevan, David Crean and Clare Alan.