Trailer: Kiss Me First to premiere on 2nd April
Staff Reporter | On 22, Dec 2016Reading time: 6 mins
The Easter Bank Holiday weekend is an eggs-cellent opportunity to catch up on all the cracking box sets you’ve missed out on over the last year. But one new treat set to hatch on our screens is Kiss Me First, the new series from E4 and Netflix.
Based on Lottie Moggach’s debut novel, Kiss Me First moves between the real and virtual animated worlds. When Leila (Tallulah Haddon, Taboo, The Living and the Dead) stumbles across Red Pill, a secret paradise, hidden on the edges of her favourite game, she meets Tess (Simona Brown, The Night Manager). Tess is everything that Leila is not: hedonistic, impulsive and insatiable. So when Tess turns up in Leila’s real life uninvited, Leila’s world is forever changed. But then a member of the group mysteriously disappears and Leila begins to suspect that maybe the hidden sanctuary isn’t the digital Eden its creator Adrian claims it to be. Now, Leila’s real journey begins.
The programme, which combines live action and computer animation to innovative effect, will premiere on E4 at 9pm on Monday 2nd April, before arriving on Netflix later this year. Given the last two series to do that were The End of the F***ing World and Crazy Face, our expectations are high.
Here’s a trailer:
Kiss Me First: Filming begins on E4 and Netflix thriller
22nd December 2016
Filming has begun on E4 and Netflix’s thriller series, Kill Me First.
The innovative show from Skins’ Bryan Elsley is adapted from Lottie Moggach’s best-selling novel. A co-production from Kindle Entertainment and Balloon Entertainment, it combines live action with state-of-the-art computer-generated virtual world sequences to create the parallel worlds of Leila and Tess, two teen gamers who meet in real life, only for one to disappear and the other to assume her online identity to find her.
The six-part series stars Tallulah Haddon (The Living and The Dead) as Leila, a lonely, reserved 19-year-old who becomes addicted to a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) called Azana. While on the site, Leila meets Tess, played by Simona Brown (The Night Manager), a cool, confident party girl, who harbours a dark secret.
Tess invites Leila into Red Pill, a secretive, invite-only part of Azana, led by the charming and manipulative Adrian. Although the young adult members of Red Pill have never, in the real world, met Adrian – whose avatar is voiced by Matthew Beard (And When Did You Last See Your Father?, The Riot Club) – they all instinctively trust in his leadership. Unbeknownst to them, Red Pill members have been cherry-picked; They all feel isolated in their home lives, preferring to congregate online, hiding behind their avatars. Red Pill consists of Calumny (George Jovanovic), Force (Freddie Stewart), Jocasta (Misha Butler), Tippi (Haruka Abe) and Denier (Samuel Bottomley). All have been personally selected by Adrian – but to what end?
Completing the cast is Matthew Aubrey (The Passing Bells) who plays Jonty, a wannabe actor and Leila’s jovial housemate, who has no clue as to her online life.
The show is directed by Misha Manson-Smith and Tom Green, with shooting set to continue until mid-2017. Filming is taking place on location in London and Croatia.
Simon Maxwell Channel 4’s Head of International Drama, says: “With Kiss Me First, Bryan Elsley offers us a uniquely authored thriller for the digital age, exploring the fragmentation of identity and reality that’s become a phenomenon of the gaming generation. What do we become when we can be whatever we want?
Our story tackles this question from every angle – in its most positive, empowering sense and at its darkest and most terrifying. Bryan’s vision has been vividly brought to life by the talents of our young cast, the direction of Misha Manson-Smith and Tom Green and the ground-breaking animation of Axis, into a show unlike any seen before on E4.”
Kiss Me First will premiere on E4 in the UK, with Netflix premiering the series globally outside the UK.
E4 and Netflix team up for gaming series
14th January 2016
E4 and Netflix are teaming up to co-produce a new series inspired by online gaming.
Kiss Me First, which will premiere on the channel next year, is a six-episode thriller written by Skins creator Bryan Elsley and a team of new writers. Based on Lottie Moggach’s novel, it follows teen players who meet in real life, only for one to disappear and the other to assume her online identity to find her. The live-action programme will also feature computer-generated virtual reality sequences, created by animator Axis.
In a landmark deal, the episodes will be released around the world in Netflix’s other territories the day after their UK broadcast.
The agreement is the kind of deal that has become commonplace for the streaming giant, as it increasingly seeks shows that can be released in all of its territories without worrying about agreeing licensing for individual markets. The benefit of co-producing with other broadcasters is that it also helps to secure content that appeals to each of its various regional audiences.
For Channel 4, this is the first time it has negotiated such a deal before commission, reports Broadcast. Indeed, it is a step up from previous deals between Channel 4 and Netflix, which saw the streaming firm acquire Ricky Gervais’ Derek as a “Netflix original” in the US.
“There was definitely a gear change in 2015 in terms of the level at which they’re willing to invest, and they understand we want to remain visible as the source of origination of these pieces and to own them in the UK,” commented Wenger.
It is also the first series to be co-produced by E4. This is the way forward for the broadcaster, says Channel 4’s Head of a Drama, Piers Wenger, who says he wants at least 80 per cent of dramas commissioned for the two channels to be co-produced. Indeed, it follows the huge success of Humans, which was a co-production with AMC.
(Wenger says it is likely looking to split funding 50/50 with its co-producing partners.)
E4 will be the focus of this initiative, as the channel aims to boost its profile and audience in an age where competition for eyeballs is high. Indeed, by splitting its funding 50/50 with co-producing partners, the channel is hoped to be able to develop content that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the high-profile US acquisitions E4 has recently made, such as Scream Queens and The 100.
Channel 4 has also announced backpacking comedy-drama Foreign Bodies – written by Plebs’ Tom Basden, Catastrophe’s Rob Delaney, Rev’s James Wood, Banana’s Charlie Covell, Together’s Jonny Sweet and comedian Tim Key. It will be co-produced by Entertainment One (eOne), which will handle worldwide distribution.
“Drama on E4 is going to start to look very different,” added Wenger.