28 November 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Netflix series Bodkin, from Obamas’ production company, to film in West Cork
20 Jun 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Barack and Michelle Obama serve as executive producers on the Netflix thriller, which begins filming in West Cork this week.

Bodkin, the working title of the first scripted TV series from the Obamas' production company Higher Ground (Worth, Crip Camp, Our Great National Parks), will be partly filmed in the West Cork villages of Union Hall and Glandore. Filming is also taking place in Dublin and Wicklow.

A darkly comedic thriller, the series follows in the footsteps of recent cork-set crime series which has seen documentaries such as Jim Sheridan’s Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie and Netflix’s Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, as well as ITV’s adaptation of Graham Norton’s Holding, about a fictional murder in the nineties. Bodkin sees a motley crew of podcasters who set out to investigate the mysterious disappearance of three strangers in an idyllic, coastal Irish town.

Netflix says the series will challenge “our perception of truth and expose the stories we tell ourselves to justify our beliefs or validate our fears”.

Stars include Will Forte, best known for his Saturday Night Live appearances as MacGruber and for creating and starring in the sitcom The Last Man on Earth, and who has previously shot Run & Jump and Extra Ordinary will portray Gilbert one of the stars of the series — a Chicagoan podcaster with Cork roots on the hunt for his next big story. Robyn Cara ( We Die Young and Trying) will also star as researcher Emmy, while Siobhan Cullen ( The Dry and Paula) will portray a hard-nosed investigative journalist from Dublin.

IFTA-winning actor Chris Walley, who Irish audiences will recognise from his portrayal of Jock O'Keeffe in The Young Offenders, will also feature in the show. A local from the village of Bodkin, Walley’s character Sean is described as “a typical Irish country lad — feckless, up for a laugh, and doesn’t seem to be preoccupied with the obligations or responsibilities that usually accompany adulthood”.

The show's creator is Jez Scharf, who to date has written short films such as Mister Biscuits, The UnDream, and Groucho Nietzsche. Alongside Barack and Michelle Obama, executive producers include Irishman David Flynn (EVP of international Strategy at Paramount Pictures) and Paul Lee of Wiip.

Wiip is an independent studio led by veteran entertainment executive Lee and their slate of shows includes the Emmy® Award-winning limited series, Mare of Easttown, starring Kate Winslet for HBO; Dickinson, the critically acclaimed Peabody Award-winning series starring Hailee Steinfeld for Apple TV+, Danny Boyle’s Pistol for FX exclusively on Hulu; Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty for Amazon Prime Video; The White House Plumbers, starring Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux for HBO; Adam McKay’s The Uninhabitable Earth for HBO Max; and Dummy starring Anna Kendrick for the Roku Channel. The studio also produced Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry’s Toast of Tinseltown in conjunction with the BBC.

Other executive producers include Alex Metcalf, Tonia Davis, and Nne Ebong. The lead director is Australian Nash Edgerton, who directed the 2018 comedy-drama Gringo starring David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron and Nash’s younger brother Joel Edgerton.

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