According to The Hollywood Reporter, Indonesia will be making its mark in the television industry with a remake of Pretty Little Liars and a new horror anthology based on the Indonesian magician known as ‘Sacred Riana.’ The former will be filmed in Indonesia while the latter will be one of the first in a partnership between Fremantle and Wahana Kreator Nusantara, an Indonesian firm. These could be the first in a potentially growing television market for Indonesia.
Warner Bros. International Television Productions will work with Viu, an Asian streaming service, to produce the Pretty Little Liars remake in the Bahasa language. Viu,owned by PCCW Media Group, is based in Hong Kong and boasts a monthly rate of 36 million active users.
The show will be filmed in Bali and will also follow a group of four undergrad students who became estranged after their group leader mysteriously went missing. A person called “A” begins to threaten the girls, drawing them back together after the blackmailer claims they will expose the girls’ deepest secrets. Emil Heradi (The Night Bus, Sagarmatha) will direct the series, which will be set in Amerta, a fictional town in Indonesia. Anya Geraldine will headline the cast as Hannah, along with Yuki Kato as Alissa, Shindy Huang as Aria, Valerie Thomas as Sabrina, and Eyka Farhana as Ema.
WBITVP senior VP Andrew Zein stated that “Viu is one of the market leaders in local storytelling, and we are excited to partner with them in transforming Pretty Little Liars into a Southeast Asian show that builds on the original yet is also uniquely its own story, entertaining millions of people.”
Janice Lee, PCCW Media Group managing director, added that “Pretty Little Liars is a proven show that resonates with younger viewers with similar profiles to our Viu audience, and we are pleased to begin our journey with WBITVP and bring it to our audience and platform.”
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In the horror anthology entitled The Sacred Riana: Bedtime Stories, the series will focus on The Sacred Riana, who grew a cult following after her multiple appearances on America’s Got Talent, on which she made it to the quarterfinals. She also placed first in the second season of Asia’s Got Talent. The 27 year old, whose real name is Marie Antoinette Riana Graharani, is known for her horror-based magic tricks, giving viewers more than just a magic show. She plays on themes of the supernatural for her magic rather than the usual light-hearted fun of most magicians. Her plays on such films as The Ring (1998) and The Conjuring (2013), with her hair covering her face and a doll to match, are what can most attribute to her popularity.
According to Chris Oliver-Taylor, the CEO of Asia Pacific: “The Sacred Riana: Bedtime Stories is an outstanding addition to Fremantle’s global drama slate,” adding that, “The fact that we are developing an international drama for the world stage, led by an Indonesian superstar such as The Sacred Riana, just shows us all how our industry is changing and great content can come from all corners of the world.”
Victor Ariesza, Co-Managing Director of Fremantle’s branch in Indonesia, commented on Indonesia’s growing relevance, claiming that, “In recent years, Indonesia has become a hot-spot for cool, clever, creative content and our new series, The Sacred Riana: Bedtime Stories, will be an outstanding addition.”
The series will be in English and will have 6 stand-alone episodes that will be inspired by Indonesian urban legends and folklore. According to a statement released by the companies, “Each self-contained, stand-alone episode has a unique cast and storyline, delivering Asian horror to a worldwide audience.” The new partnership will also jointly create a romantic comedy called Ex Addicts, a series about people who are obsessed with their exes.