Betting on a Trojan Horse

Runup to the U.S. election sets stage for Whizbang's sequel to its 2004 political thriller H2O

Although CBC has lately steered clear of miniseries, producer Frank Siracusa always knew The Trojan Horse was a sure bet.

‘There was no question this movie had to be made,’ he says. Part one of the two-part four-hour mini, the much-anticipated sequel to 2004′s political thriller H2O, airs Sunday at 8 p.m., followed by part two on April 6.

‘Richard Stursberg [CBC's EVP of English services] was a big fan of H2O, so though CBC policy had shifted, everyone knew this was a Canadian story that had to be told,’ says Siracusa, who produces though Toronto’s Whizbang Films.

Penned by H2O writers Paul Gross, who also produces, and John Krizanc, the duo again teamed with H2O director Charles Binamé.

In Trojan, Canadians have voted to become part of the U.S., and politician Tom McLaughlin, played by Gross, is vying for the presidency.

Tom Skerritt (Brothers and Sisters), Greta Scacchi (The Handyman) and Martha Burns (Slings and Arrows) also star in the $10.5-million effort.

Trojan‘s release seems well-planned, what with the

presidential race to the south.

‘The timing is attractive, but we certainly couldn’t have foreseen it two years ago,’ says CBC spokesperson Jeff Keay. But ‘this is fortuitous timing.’

Whizbang is also producing Saving Grace, the Toronto company’s third TV movie for the Hallmark Channel. Directed by Craig Pryce, Mark Consuelos of All My Children fame stars along with Chandra West (Badland). Movie Central will air it in Canada. The Movie Network and Movie Central are putting the second season of Whizbang’s war drama ZOS: Zone of Separation into development, with writing already underway.

Passchendaele, meanwhile, is now in post-production.

Originally slated for a Nov. 11 release through Alliance Films — to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the end of World War One — the $20-million copro has been moved up to Oct. 10.

‘Putting it out Thanksgiving weekend means a longer lifespan, starting with the long-weekend audiences and then all the way into November where it should strike a chord with many Canadians,’ says Siracusa.