I skim the trades, so you don’t have to.
◊ ‘Yellowjackets’ Creators Guess an ‘Anti-‘Ted Lasso’ Effect’ May Have Helped Their Grim Thriller
My two-cent takeaway: Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson talk about the flexibility required to get a show made and how you really need to love the idea that you’re pitching, and ultimately the script is only a tiny part of the final product. Even though the writing feels like everything, there’s some uncomfortable truth in knowing the script will not be read by audiences.
Saudi Arabia will soon be getting its own remake of The Office. BBC Studios, which owns the format rights, and MBC Studios, the production arm of Saudi-owned Middle East satellite giant MBC, have unveiled Al Maktab, the first Arabic-language version of the long-running and award-winning comedy series.
My two-cent takeaway: Not a lot of info on who the writers are, but the show is already going into production. Non-English versions of the office have been hit-or-miss and mainly miss. It’s pretty hard to capture the original’s humor in foreign languages.
◊ Tim Robbins, Leslie Mann Depart Amazon Thriller Series ‘The Power’
Based on Naomi Alderman’s novel, the project centers on a world in which teenage girls have an unlikely ability.
My two-cent takeaway: A show about teenage girls written in a room staffed exclusively by women. It’s strange to think this is news, and I’m sure it can’t be the first time, but it’s about time.
◊ Behind Netflix’s Leaner Movie Mandate: Bigger, Fewer and Better
My two-cent takeaway: Netflix is still planning on releasing at least one movie a week, but significant cuts are on the horizon.
◊ Rafael Motamayor on the growing challenge of accurately translating hit international shows like Squid Game and all that’s lost when it goes wrong
My two-cent takeaway: I had no idea writing subtitles and dubbing was so challenging, but it seems that even though Squid Games was poorly done, it didn’t affect its success. Also, some dialogue (and jokes) will be forever lost no matter what you do.
◊ F.X. orders English Teacher pilot from Brian Jordan Alvarez
My two-cent takeaway: Alvarez has writing credits back to 2011 and is repped by CAA.
◊ 10 LGBTQ Film and T.V. Creators on the Rise, from Jerrod Carmichael to Isabel Sandoval
◊ Abbott Elementary’: Quinta Brunson Originally Saw ABC Show as a Cartoon
My two-cent takeaway: Brunson talks about getting the concept from visiting her school-teacher mom and being able to do an internal pitch to Warner Bros. because of her previous working relationship with them.
◊ ‘Better Call Saul’ Has Ruined ‘Breaking Bad’s Version of Saul Goodman
My two-cent takeaway: I have to disagree with this assertion, but the transition of Goodman from B.B. to BCS highlights the challenges that can arise when a day player gets their own show.
◊ “The Wire” co-creators David Simon and Ed Burns looked back on the seminal crime series on the 20th anniversary of its debut for The New York Times; HBO also announced a new “The Wire” podcast to be hosted by rapper and actor Method Man.
My two-cent takeaway: Quick interview on the birth of The Wire and how Simon focused on novelists who had already delved into crime fiction and non-fiction to write episodes of the show. If you can write a novel, you have to skill set to transition into screenplays.
◊ Fox has handed out a script commitment to Felonious Monk, a drama based on the novel by William Kotzwinkle. Written by Michael Brandon Guercio (Treadstone, Code Black), the drama revolves around a disgraced cop with anger issues turned monk who returns to his hometown to take care of his dead uncle’s outstanding business debts and suspects foul play.
My two-cent takeaway: Guercio started as a writer on Nikita back in 2011 and has focused mainly on crime drama since then and received the Warner Brothers Writers’ workshop fellowship in 2012.
◊ THR’s Seija Rankin spoke to longtime collaborators ― and husband-and-wife team ― Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone on their new slate of funny shows, including the soon-to-drop Netflix series God’s Favorite Idiot, the state of comedy right now, and why they’re pushing back against the studio squeeze.
My two-cent takeaway: Falcone talks about taking any opportunity to write, including in a car while driving around with McCarthy. They also reference the challenges of getting films made now with more focus on money. Ultimately, the most important thing is to write what you connect with.
◊ The writer-director behind horror hits Happy Death Day and Freaky, Christopher Landon, has been tapped to write and direct Amblin’s remake of Arachnophobia. James Wan and his Atomic Monster cohort Michael Clear are producing the feature project along with Amblin, while Frank Marshall will exec produce.
My two-cent takeaway: Landon, the son of actor Michael Landon, got his start in 1998 co-writing with Stephen Chin Another Day in Paradise and then Disturbia, a Rear Window remake, in 2007, both enjoyable films I remember seeing in the theaters. In 2010 he jumped onto Paranormal Activity 2 and moved towards making horrors since then.
◊ HBO Max has canceled its sci-fi series Raised by Wolves after two seasons. The news comes two months after the show concluded its second season on the streamer.
My two-cent takeaway: Aaron Guzikowski, who put his name on the map with Prisoners (2013) after winning several awards, states he never took screenwriting lessons. The cancellation of Raised by Wolves, although undoubtedly a disappointment, will give him a chance to focus on The Wolf Man, which is in “unknown” development but has Ryan Gosling attached.
◊ In a guest column for THR, As We See It showrunner Jason Katims writes about casting actors who identified as being on the autistic spectrum for the Amazon Prime Video series.
My two-cent takeaway: If you have the luxury of casting your own roles, choosing the most authentic actors can be incredibly beneficial, but in the end, you want the actors who can provide the best performance, whether they are genuine are not.
◊ AllBlk Greenlights Drama Series’ Hush’ created by Angela Burt-Murray
My two-cent takeaway: Burt-Murray got her start as an award-winning journalist before moving into screenwriting and production. With episode running times at 35 minutes each, this drama feels like it will be fast-paced and perhaps break the mold for longer running times.
◊ According to Deadline, NBCUniversal is in negotiations to revive the canceled CBS action-drama series “Magnum P.I.”; a potential fifth season could air on NBC, with previous seasons heading to the USA Network.
My two-cent takeaway: It’s not clear what role the series creators, Guggenheim and Lenkov, will have in the production if it is saved.
◊ The writers of the next Deadpool sequel are confident that the franchise will remain as irreverent as ever, despite 20th Century Fox being absorbed by Disney. In a recent interview, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who have writing credits on the first two Deadpool films and are working on the third for director Shawn Levy, said that joining the MCU will not change the overall feel that fans loved about the previous movies.
◊ “Twisted Metal” co-created by “Cobra Kai” vets Michael Jonathan Smith, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick; Smith will act as showrunner.
My two-cent takeaway: Reese and Wernick are also known for Deadpool 1 & 2, Zombieland and 6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds virtually guaranteeing a lot of great action and edgy comedy. Smith, who has comedic T.V. writing credits starting with Mermates in 2012 up to present-day Cobra Kai, will surely deliver on the gags required to pull “Twisted Metal” off.
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