Robert Kirkman has found a new apocalyptic angle.
A few years back, his Skybound Entertainment announced a deal to produce a Korean drama called 5 Year. Based on an original concept by Kirkman, the series was to tell the story of a family living in South Korea in the five years before an extinction level event meteor collides with Earth. Development on the program never ceased and, according to Deadline, it has grown in the years since that initial announcement. Now partnered with eOne, 5 Year will be localized in countries like Italy, the UK, Germany and Russia. Each version of 5 Year will tell its own story — in each country’s native language — while following the outline of global events Kirkman envisioned for the original Korean series; which is also still in development.
“Working on 5 Year is an exceptional experience because it gives us the opportunity to see how writers and directors across the world tell different stories with the same core ingredients,” Kirkman told the site.
Localizing television shows is nothing new. American sitcoms Three’s Company, The Office and Ugly Betty are based on premises developed internationally. The Office, originally a British series, has been localized in several countries, as has Breaking Bad and The Golden Girls. But what makes 5 Year unusual and interesting is the attempt to localize a premise simultaneously and have each series follow a master timeline. It is unclear if any of the series will ever cross over — indeed, it is unclear if an American 5 Year is in the works — but the challenge involved in orchestrating multiple series with the same premise at the same time is compelling.
Kirkman will serve as an executive producer on 5 Year with Skybound partners David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst. It is unclear when any version of 5 Year will debut.