Showcase’s XIII.2 goes into production around Toronto

Stuart Townsend returns to headline season two of the one-hour conspiracy thriller XIII.2 which will film in and around Toronto through to mid-July.

Townsend (The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Queen of the Damned) plays XIII, a lethal former secret agent whose memory has been erased. The 13-episode Canada-France original series will air on Showcase Fall, 2012.

The series has been re-imagined by Academy® Award-winner Roger Avary (The Rules of Attraction, Pulp Fiction, Silent Hill) who has joined the team of Executive Producers. The modified title XIII.2 reflects the revamped intensity and suspense of the show.

In season two, the rogue CIA agent XIII fights the forces of corporate and governmental darkness to maintain his individuality, and is pulled into a world of intrigue and deception as he is caught up in a sinister terrorist plot: a secret weapons project that has the potential to destabilize the planet, all while the United States government collapses into a bloody coup d’etat.

Joining the second season cast is French actress Roxane Mesquida, who burst onto the international film scene in Catherine Breillat’s controversial features Fat Girl, Sex is a Comedy and The Last Mistress. The actress also starred in the Sheitan directed by Kim Chapiron starring Vincent Cassel (Toronto International Film Festival, Melbourne and TriBeCa Film Festival) and Kaboom directed by Gregg Araki. She featured in season five of Gossip Girl as the sister of Blair’s fiancé Louis Grimaldi. An international model, Mesquida has appeared on in the pages of Italian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair. Mesquida plays the young and aggressive Betty Barnowsky, who convinces XIII to join The Veil, an environmental/economic activist organization. Mesquida lives in Los Angeles.

Co-starring in XIII are Greg Bryk (Saw V, Cra$h & Burn) as a former national security officer now head of energy giant Synequannon, Stephen McHattie (Happy Town, 2012) as the beleaguered President Carrington and Aisha Tyler (24, CSI, The Talk) as Secretary of State Jones who is one of XIII’s past flames.

XIII is based on Jean Van Hamme’s popular graphic novel of the same name, which has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide since the first volume was published 25 years ago. XIII: The Series was developed and is produced by Prodigy Pictures and by Luc Besson’s Paris-based EuropaCorp (La Femme Nikita). In addition to airing in Canada on Showcase, the series airs on Canal Plus and M6 in France.

Executive producers of the series are Academy Award winner Roger Avary, Jay Firestone (Prodigy Pictures), Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros (EuropaCorp Television). Damien Couvreur (EuropaCorp Television) is co-executive producer, Vanessa Piazza is supervising producer and Wendy Grean (Bomb Girls, The Bridge) is the producer of XIII.2

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