Israeli Television on a Roll With Three New U.S. Adaptations, Including One About the Mossad

HBO working on adaptation of the book 'Rise and Kill First' and Israeli teen drama 'Euphoria,' while Keshet is making U.S. version of local hit 'When Heroes Fly'

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From the hit Israeli series "When Heroes Fly."
From the hit Israeli series "When Heroes Fly."Credit: From Keshet Channel 12

Two Israeli TV shows and a book by an Israeli journalist about the Mossad are being adapted for American television.

According to Deadline Hollywood, HBO is teaming up with Israeli producer Keshet International to turn Ronen Bergman's book about the Mossad, "Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations," into a miniseries.

Deadline says that the initial intention is to "create and co-produce an English-language limited series that will be shot in Israel. The hope is for annual reprises that focus on different missions."

Reviewing Bergman's book in Haaretz earlier this year, David B. Green called it "a blockbuster in every sense of the word." He added: "Some of these tales could easily strain credulity – not just because the stories themselves read as if drawn from spy fiction, but also because it’s hard to believe so many of them are being reported here for the first time."

Ronen Bergman, the author of Mossad exposé "Rise and Kill First."Credit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv

HBO is also adapting the 2012 Israeli teen drama "Euphoria," which was made by Hot and co-written by Ron Leshem ("Beaufort"). The remake is set to star Zendaya ("The Greatest Showman"), Storm Reid ("A Wrinkle in Time"), Maude Apatow ("This is 40," which was written and directed by her father, Judd Apatow) and Eric Dane ("The Last Ship").

The original show chronicled the lives of a group of teenagers in 1990s Israel. HBO is set to shoot a pilot episode, with the show focusing on "drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship," writes the Hollywood Reporter. HBO previously called the show "'Kids' meets 'Trainspotting.'"

The third adaptation is "When Heroes Fly," which is being developed by Keshet International. Variety reports that the show, which won the best series award at the inaugural Canneseries festival in April, has been a huge hit in Israel this spring.

"When Heroes Fly" was created by Omri Givron, who previously worked on another Israeli series that was also remade in the United States, "Hostages."

Variety quotes Keshet Studios’ Peter Traugott as saying the series is packed with themes that should translate for an American audience. "When Heroes Fly" is about a group of former military commandos, who must head to the Colombian jungle in search of a woman with a personal connection to two members of the group.

Showtime is currently working on an adaptation of the YES legal drama "Your Honor," about a judge who takes the law into his own hands when his son is involved in a hit-and-run accident. Amy Poehler, meanwhile, is developing a TV series around the hit 2014 Israeli film "Zero Motivation," about a group of young women in the army.

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