Screenwriter’s News for Monday, March 21, 2022


I skim the trades, so you don’t have to.

If you’re wondering how many shows uber producer Taylor Sheridan has on the go at Paramount+ at the moment, well, you can stop wondering as THR‘s James Hibberd has rather handily put them all in one place with descriptions and all. And, yeah, it’s a lot and there’s more than just Yellowstone and the Dutton-verse.

My two-cent takeaway: Sheridan is owning it, with eight other shows in production. And with the likes of Billy Bob Thornton and Sylvester Stallone, hes in a powerful position to revive some fading stars. Oyelowos series, in development, about a lawman who influenced the Lone Ranger, sounds pretty interesting. 


◊ Paramount+ has unveiled its first slate of unscripted original U.K. series ahead of the launch of the streamer in Britain this summer. Among them are shows about paranormal cases, the rise of technology giants and the mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines flight in 2014.

My two-cent takeaway: Even though unscripted, and perhaps undesirable to the hardcore screenwriters among us, dont discount the need for writers to produce copy for narration, intros, outros, or anything else not captured in unscripted situations. 


◊ ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ Canceled By Netflix After 2 Seasons

My two-cent takeaway: 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and still canceled. Thats pretty harsh.  It just goes to show you that if the ratings arent there, neither is your show.  Take a look at this interview before with the creator of the show, post cancelation:


  • Dick Cavett Set As Recipient Of WGA East’s Evelyn F. Burkey Award

My two-cent takeaway: Exclusively a TV writer, his quirky, casual style is a refreshing departure from what we expect in interviews.  Furthermore, to be a great writer, you need to ask great questions. 


◊ Netflix announced a live-action film based on the Boom! Studios comic book series Irredeemable” from The Harder They Fall” director Jeymes Samuel. Oscar-nominated “One Night in Miami” screenwriter Kemp Powers will pen the screenplay.

My two-cent takeaway: Kemp Powers, most recently co-wrote Soul, some Star Trek Discovery episodes and One Night in Miami, which is also based on his play of the same name.  With what hes done so far, hes a force to be reckoned with. 


“Reservation Dogs” co-creator Sterlin Harjo signed on with CAA; the show is currently in pre-production on its second season.

My two-cent takeaway: No surprise that Harjo is on his way up with the success of his series. This is a perfect example of write what you know.  And if its good, your audience will come to you. 


◊ ‘Transatlantic’: Cory Michael Smith, Gillian Jacobs & Corey Stoll Lead Cast Of Netflix 1940s Marseille Drama From Anna Winger

My two-cent takeaway: The creator of Deutschland 83/86/89, a German-language trilogy thriller and the unexpectedly exciting fish-out-of-water drama Unorthodox on Netflix, Winger is an excellent match for Transatlantic, which could be boring if not in the right hands. 


◊ ‘The Gentlemen’: Guy Ritchie TV Series Based On His Film From Miramax TV Eyes Netflix Greenlight

My two-cent takeaway: Rolling this into a TV series could be fun, but why not make a sequel.  Gone are the days when writers had to make a choice, which seems like a good thing, but not when you consider the amount of effort required in either formats.  Since this is all about IP, I guess its just a matter of time before we see Jaws, the series.


Daredevil Reboot Reportedly Set to Begin Production as Disney+ MCU Series

My two-cent takeaway: Daredevil was one of the more solid series to make a move from Netflix.  No word on who will be writing this series with Disney+ so sharpen your pencils. 


‘Ms. Marvel’ Trailer Reveals the Rise of a Teenage Superhero

My two-cent takeaway: Bisha K. Ali, whos credits start in 2019 with Sex Education, Four Weddings and a Funeral TV series and Loki, is showrunner.


‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Darth Maul Scenes Cut, Luke Skywalker Replaced During Creative Overhaul

My two-cent takeaway: Still sounds like we don’t have the full story, but Hossein Amini was out, credited with “unknown episodes” and replaced by Joby Harold.


Abbott Elementary’ Renewed for Season 2 at ABC

My two-cent takeaway: This runaway hit is created and written by (and starring) Quinta Brunson, from the hilarious Black Lady Sketch Show fame.


◊ Michelle Yeoh’s Role in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Was Originally Written for Jackie Chan

My two-cent takeaway: Its clever how Kwan and Scheinert switched the Chan role for Yeoh. Presumably, gender swapping is not a difficult task but if its too easy, your characters are not well enough defined. 


◊ Yalitza Aparicio, Joaquín Cosío & Óscar Jaenada Among Cast Of Apple TV+ All Spanish-Language Series

My two-cent takeaway: Co-created with Julio Rojas and written by Gibrán Portela, who has written several eclectic, heart-wrenching stories based out of Mexico, this series checks all the boxes for an urban drama on the edge of life and death. The showrunner will be Natalia Beristáin who will also direct, which is an unusual combination considering her strength and experience lies with directing.


◊ Prime Video & Blumhouse Win World Rights To Sundance-Winning Horror ‘Nanny’ In $7M Deal

My two-cent takeaway: Written and directed by Nikyatu Jusu, Nanny was her first feature after a slew of impressive shorts dating back to 2007.  After winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and getting picked up by Blumhouse, this film has helped propel her into a deal with Jordan Peeles production company, Monkeypaw which is at Universal. 


◊ Amazon ordered a series adaptation of the Harlan Coben novel “Shelter,” the first book in his trilogy about the character Mickey Bolitar; Jaden Michael will star as Bolitar, a kid from a troubled background who stumbles into a supernatural mystery.

My two-cent takeaway: No writer attached to write the pilot. Sharpen your pencils. 


◊ Hulu ordered the comedy pilot “Bammas” from writers and stars Opeyemi “Opey” Olagbaju and Biniam Bizuneh, about a pair of African-born best friends living in a magical realist version of Washington DC; “Grandfathered” creator Danny Chun will serve as showrunner.

My two-cent takeaway: Olagbaju and Bizuneh are perfect examples of comedians making it in the world of writing for TV.  If you want to write for sitcoms and eventually get your own show, follow their lead. 


Disney’s HR and legal departments are conducting an internal investigation to determine if elements including her cancer diagnosis and abortion while undergoing chemotherapy, among other subjects, were not true.

My two-cent takeaway: Theres enough pain in the world. Dont pretend yours is worse than anyone elses. Thats despicable. 


Disney’s Lightyear will feature the company’s first-ever same-gender feature animation, kiss. The kiss is between prominent characters Alicia Hawthorne, voiced by Uzo Aduba, and another currently unidentified female character. THR‘s Abbey White writes that the characters’ relationship was always in the film, but during the creative process, conversations around intimacy were had, and the kiss was removed. Following the internal backlash around Disney’s previous public silence on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the decision was made last week to add the kiss back in.

My two-cent takeaway: Interesting that on reporting this story theres no word on what the screenwriter, Pete Doctor, whos been involved with Toy Story from the beginning, has to say about the situation.


Netflix and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions teaming up to develop a scripted series about legendary Irish rock band U2. The untitled show, which is currently in the early development stages, will be penned by Anthony McCarten, the Oscar-nominated scribe behind Bohemian Rhapsody. Details of U2’s involvement are being kept under wraps, though sources say the band is expected to be involved and sanction the project.

My two-cent takeaway: The Kiwi McCarten delivered the goods with Bohemian Rhapsody, not to mention, The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour, and The Two Popes, so expect more of the same with the U2 Series. 


True Detective is inching closer to a formal comeback at HBO, but without creator Nic Pizzolatto at the helm. HBO has recruited Issa Lopez to pen a script for a new cycle that has been dubbed True Detective: Night Country. Additionally, Barry Jenkins is attached to exec produce the anthology. Should season four move forward — it’s currently in development — Lopez would direct the pilot in addition to serving as an exec producer.

My two-cent takeaway: Issa Lopez has several writing credits that date back to the 90s, but mainly in Spanish. It was rumored that PIzzolatto exited the series after becoming too difficult to work with. 


  • Robert Vincent ONeil, Writer-Director of the Cult Film Angel,Dies at 91

My two-cent takeaway: I remember seeing Angel in the video stores when I was a teenager and laughing at the premise, but the point is it made an impact (and money). I still remember it after all these years.  RIP ONeil. 


◊ People always talk about how many shows I have on the air.” Also picking up a prize at the upcoming PGA Awards is Greg Berlanti. The prolific TV producer, who will receive the prestigious Norman Lear Achievement Award, spoke to THR‘s Pamela McClintock about his incoming boss at WarnerMedia, the ubiquity of superheroes and shares why the 2011 Green Lantern movie was heartbreaking but “led to wonderful things on the TV side.”

My two-cent takeaway: Ive gotta say I was more of a fan of the Berlanti co-scripted Green Lantern film with Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, than anyone I know. 


THR‘s Mikey O’Connell spoke to Hollywood’s resident dandy, writer, director and now purveyor of artisanal gin, Paul Feige. The ever busy Feig spoke about his two new shows (Fox’s Welcome to Flatch and HBO Max’s Minx), his perspective on the Ghostbusters drama and social media and his plea to fellow creatives.

My two-cent takeaway: Quick read highlighting Feigs lack of regret for writing (and making) the all-female cast Ghostbusters.  And also steering clear of passion projects, which I tend to agree.  If the script you’re writing is based on your own life, and its a must-tell story, write it and then be prepared to put it aside and work on something else. 


What’re your two cents?

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