BREAKING FILM NEWS

Saturday, May 29, 2010

CW Targets Toronto's "Nikita"

Set to air Thursday nights on the CW network, the Toronto-lensed action series "Nikita" stars Maggie Q as 'Nikita', Lyndsy Fonseca as 'Alex', Shane West as 'Michael', Aaron Stanford as 'Birkhoff', Ashton Holmes as 'Thom', Tiffany Hines as 'Jaden', Melinda Clarke as 'Amanda' and Xander Berkeley as 'Percy'.

"Nikita" is from Warner Bros. Television in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, for executive producers Craig Silverstein, Danny Cannon, McG and Peter Johnson.

The Toronto-shot pilot, directed by Danny Cannon, prompted the CW network ("Smallville") to pick up the show as a series.


"...When she was a deeply troubled teenager, 'Nikita' was rescued from death row by a secret US agency known only as 'Division', who faked her execution and told her she was being given a second chance to start a new life and serve her country. What they didn't tell her was that she was being trained as a spy and assassin. Ultimately, Nikita was betrayed and her dreams shattered by the only people she thought she could trust. Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former bosses that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation.

"For the time being, however, Division continues to recruit and train other young people, erasing all evidence of their former lives and turning them into cold and efficient killers. One of these new recruits, 'Alex', is just beginning to understand what lies ahead for her and why the legendary Nikita made the desperate decision to run..."

The new show is a fresh take on "La Femme Nikita", the 1990 French feature by writer/director Luc Besson, following a new 'Nikita', trained to replace the original Nikita government agent after she goes 'rogue'.

Maggie Q , a well-known Hong Kong action-movie star, also appeared in "Mission: Impossible III" and "Live Free or Die Hard."


Besson's "Nikita" followed 'Nikita Taylor' (Anne Parillaud), a teenage delinquent and heroin addict who tries to rob a pharmacy, owned by the parents of a fellow junkie.

When things go bad during a police shoot-out and her cohorts are killed, Nikita shoots a policeman, is arrested, tried, convicted of murder and imprisoned for life, with no parole for thirty years.

In prison, Nikita is drugged to simulate death, then awakens in a room where a man (Tchéky Karyo) reveals that although officially dead as a 'suicide by overdose', Nikita is actually in the custody of the 'DGSE', a French intelligence agency. She is then given the choice, to either work as a DGSE government assassin or be killed.

After some resistance, Nikita joins the agency, with one of her trainers, 'Amande' (Jeanne Moreau), transforming her from a degenerate drug addict into a degenerate 'sleeper agent'.

In 1993, Warner Bros. remade "Nikita" in English as "Point of No Return" (aka "The Assassin"), directed by John Badham, starring Bridget Fonda.

Besson's premise was again adapted in 1997 for the Toronto-lensed US/Canadian co-pro "La Femme Nikita," adapted for TV by Joel Surnow, starring Peta Wilson.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek the CW's "Nikita", the 1990's TV series "Nikita", "Point Of No Return" and "La Femme Nikita"...