(photo credit: .)
20th Century Fox TV has acquired rights to adapt the Keshet
prisoner-of-war drama Hahatufim
(“The Kidnapped”), which is currently being aired on Channel 2,
American entertainment trade journal Variety has reported.
Gideon Raf, the creator of the series, will be co-writing the format for
US television, along with xx24 executive producer Howard Gordon and
soldiers who are taken prisoner in Lebanon, and after 17 years, return
to Israel – two alive, one dead – as part of a massive prisoner
exchange. Over the course of 11 hour-long episodes airing on Saturday
nights, the story of their reintegration into their families and into
society – or at least the beginning of that reintegration – unfolds.
“We as a society are so obsessed with bringing our boys back home, but
we never really deal with what happens once they’re here,” Raf told The Jerusalem Post
“We know these people as bookmarks, as billboards, as part of a
campaign, as icons in our struggle to survive in Israel. What this show
does is take you in and introduce you to what these people are really
According to Gordon, despite the Israeli-specific scenario, he saw a
universal theme in the show that he thinks will appeal to Americans.
“The show was specific to Israel because of their geopolitical and
national reality, but there was a very strong overlap in many ways and
resonance with our country, since we're currently engaged in two
military conflicts,” Gordon told Variety
For the US adaptation, tentatively titled “Patriots,” the show will
center on two soldiers who were captured soon after the war on terror
began in the wake of 9/11; they're finally released a decade later from
their captors. But a third POW dies – and his demise becomes a mystery.
The show will also center on suspicions that one of the returning
soldiers may have turned rogue, and could be a terrorist threat himself.
Beyond those mysteries, Gordon said he was attracted in the Israeli
version to the family drama that erupts as these soldiers – who were
presumed dead – must adapt to a changed world, while their loved ones
must cope with their reappearance.
Gordon also said, that after being confined to 24
’s real-time format for the past eight years, he
excited about being able to play with timelines, such as flashbacks and
“That's liberating,” he said, noting that 24
debuted in November 2001, in the shadow of the
September 11 terrorist attacks.
“Ten years have past and the world has changed. This show has the
benefit of time, looking at the same issues as 24
, in a different and more nuanced way,” Gordon said.
20th Century Fox TV chairman Dana Walden said she was immediately drawn
to the format's “creatively adventurous” tone.
“It’s a project that has universal appeal and should travel very well
throughout the world,” she told Variety
Hahatufim represents the second Keshet format set up at 20th Century
Fox; the studio is adapting the Keshet comedy Traffic Light
for the Fox network.
Keshet’s chairman, Avi Nir, will serve as executive producer of the US
version, along with Gordon, Gansa and Raf.