Drew Goddard is returning to TV for his next project. The Bad Times at the El Royale director is adapting an InlandTV series based on The Tiger’s Wife author Téa Obreht’s bestselling Western epic novel. Inland will be one of the first projects for Goddard under his massive four-year overall deal with ABC Studios and its cable-streaming division ABC Signature.
Deadline reports that Goddard is developing an Inland TV series adaptation for ABC Signature, a cable and streaming division of Disney TV Studios. Though Goddard was originally signed by 20th Century Fox TV, his deal migrated to ABC Studios following the Disney-Fox merger.
Inland is set in the lawless lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893 and follows the intersecting storylines of two characters: Nora, a frontierswoman awaiting the return of her husband and sons; and Lurie, a former outlaw who is literally haunted by ghosts. It’s an epic Western with a supernatural twist that seems right up Goddard’s alley — the creator got his start working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel before helming his breakout 2012 hit The Cabin in the Woods.
Here is the synopsis for Inland via GoodReads:
In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life–her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.
Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Nora’s and Lurie’s stories intertwine is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.
Inland was published this year and was author Téa Obreht’s follow-up to her bestselling 2010 novel The Tiger’s Wife, which won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and earned her a place on The New Yorker’s list of 20 best American fiction writers under 40.
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation with multiple bidders, ABC Signature, a division of Disney TV Studios, has acquired the rights to develop The Tiger's Wife author Téa Obreht's bestselling new novel Inland for television. The project will be executive produced by Drew Goddard and Sarah Esberg under Goddard's Goddard Textiles banner.
It marks one of the first major pieces of development for former Daredeviland The Defenders executive producer Goddard, who is under a massive four-year overall deal at ABC Studios and its cable/streaming unit ABC Signature. The sought-after TV creator was originally signed by Disney TV Studios' 20th Century Fox TV; Goddard's pact migrated to ABC Studios following former 20th TV President of Creative Affairs Jonnie Davis' appointment as ABC Studios President this past summer.
Published by Random House on August 13, Inland tells the story of two extraordinary lives that collide in the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life—her husband, a newspaperman who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument.
Nora is biding her time and enduring her thirst with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home, and her husband's seventeen-year-old cousin, who communes with spirits. Lurie is an immigrant—a man born under Ottoman rule who comes to America as a child—and a former outlaw who is haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected companion who inspires a momentous expedition across the West.
Inland, a New York Times bestseller, was a pick on President Obama's summer reading list. It has been named a best book of summer by Elle, The Week, Time.com, USA Today, Esquire, Town & Country, PopSugar, Bustle, NYLON, Minnesota Public Radio, Thrillist, Alma, LitHub, Bookish, Southern Living and Publishers Weekly.
Obreht's debut novel, The Tiger's Wife, was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction. An international bestseller, it has sold over a million copies worldwide. Obreht was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and was named by The New Yorker as one of the 20 best American fiction writers under 40.
Obreht is repped by The Gernert Company and Anonymous Content.
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development Adversaries, a drama that centers on the female leader of the Navy’s Top Gun fighter pilot school in Key West. The series comes from the network’s The Good Doctor star/co-exec producer Freddie Highmore via his Alfresco Pictures and Sony Pictures TV where the company is based.
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Written by Sean Finegan and Katie J. Stone & David Daitch Shooter, Adversaries centers on Lara Bryer, a trailblazing fighter pilot who takes charge of the Navy's most elite flight school in Key West. But training Top Gun pilots in supersonic aerial combat is nothing compared to the challenges she'll face on the ground, from navigating life as a newly single working mom to breaking through the glass ceiling in a field so male-dominated that as of 2019, just 3% of all Naval pilots are women.
Highmore executive produces with Finegan, Stone and Daitch who is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve.
Adversaries is part of the overall deal Highmore and his Alfresco has with Sony TV, which produces The Good Doctor. Claire Londy, Alfresco’s head of development, will serve as a co-producer on the project.
Highmore’s Alfresco also recently sold Homesick, a half-hour dark comedy, which has been put in development at TBS.
Finegan, who is developing the sc-fi feature Reset at Paramount, previously had drama projects in development at NBC and Universal TV and recently produced Endless, the Thunder Road feature film starring Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton.
The writing team of Stone and Daitch have credits that include USA’s Shooter and Call of Duty.
Highmore is repped by ARG, UTA and Felker Tozcek. Finegan is with Anonymous Content, Verve and Morris Yorn. Stone & Daitch are repped by Management 360, Kaplan Stahler and Goodman, Schenkman & Brecheen.
Italian horror comics series Dylan Dog is headed to the small screen in America thanks to producer James Wan. Wan’s Atomic Monster will produce a Dylan Dog TV series, which will bring the Tiziano Sclavi-created character to life. In the comics, Dylan Dog is a paranormal investigator who takes on cases involving ghosts, vampires, and other creatures of the night. The cult horror film Cemetery Man was loosely inspired by the comics, and in 2011, Brandon Routh starred in the film adaptation Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, which I’m pretty sure no one remembers, not even the people involved with the movie.
Does James Wan ever sleep? It seems like every other day we learn of yet another new project involving the Aquaman filmmaker, and today is no different. Wan’s Atomic Monster is set to produce a Dylan Dog TV series, based on the 33-year-old comic book series of the same name. There’s no network or streaming service lined-up yet, nor are there writers. But Wan’s involvement alone is enough to get most people excited.
“Dylan Dog is truly one of my favorite comic books ever,” said Wan. “I was first introduced to the Nightmare Investigator back in high school by my European friends. And though I didn’t understand the foreign text, I easily understood the story through the beautiful artwork, and its loving references to the horror genre. I’m excited to team with Sergio Bonelli Editore to bring this to life on screen.”
Atomic Monster will produce the series with Bonelli Entertainment. “James Wan and Atomic Monster are masters of the horror genre and have a proven sensibility on how best to adapt comics to the screen,” said Davide Bonelli. “We are so thrilled to have this dream team working on one of our most important characters.”
Dylan Dog will be a 10-episode live-action series “chronicling the exploits of its titular British paranormal investigator, who takes on cases that usually involved monsters, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and zombies.”
This won’t be the first Dylan Dog adaptation. The 1994 dark horror comedy Cemetery Man aka Dellamorte Dellamore, was based on a novel by Dylan Dog creator Tiziano Sclavi. Then there was the 2011 box office bomb Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.
Wan is currently shooting Malignant, his first horror film since he directed The Conjuring 2. His Atomic Monster is also producing The Conjuring 3, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, which is set for release on September 11, 2020. Other productions include There’s Someone Inside Your House for Netflix and Mortal Kombat.
Disney Television Studios has finalized the leadership structure in its labels' casting divisions, with SVP Stephanie Levinson promoted to head 20th Century Fox Television's team, VP Jonathan Bluman to run ABC Studios' division, and Lindsey Kasabian to oversee for Fox 21 Television Studios.
The trio, who will lead casting efforts of all series and pilots at their respective companies, will report to Sharon Klein, EVP Casting for Disney Television Studios and FX Entertainment. FX EVP Michael Katcher also reports to Klein.
“With the volume of programming we are producing and as my responsibilities have expanded, it became clear that we needed seasoned casting executives leading our efforts at each studio,” Klein said. “Stephanie was the first person I thought of to take on a leadership role in this new casting structure. She's a fantastic executive with superb taste, poise and judgement and has earned the respect and admiration of everyone from showrunners to agents to executives.
Sterling K. Brown in “This Is Us” Ron Batzdorff/NBC
Levinson has been 20th TV's primary casting executive on series including NBC's This Is Us, ABC's Modern Family and Ryan Murphy's The People v. O.J. Simpson and The Assassination of Gianni Versace for FX; she helped bring aboard Sterling K. Brown to This Is Us after seeing dailies of his performance as Christopher Darden in People v O.J.
Bluman, previously a talent agent at Paradigm and then Endeavor/WME, most recently served as VP Talent & Casting in the ABC Entertainment/ABC Studios casting department, where he worked on series like ABC's The Rookie, Hulu's Dollface and Amazon's The Wilds.
Said Klein: “I've known Jonathan since his days in New York as an agent, and he brings a lot of the skills from his former career to this role, from deal making to talent relations. He has done great work for ABC for the past three years for both network and studio, so he was the perfect choice for this new studio role.”
At Fox 21 TV Studios, Kasabian has served as the principal casting exec on Showtime's Homeland and helped land Rupert Friend for the series. She also covers Nat Geo's Genius, which recently cast Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin, as well as FX's Emmy-winning Fosse/Verdon and Pose. She's now working on FX's The Old Man with Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman.
“Lindsey is another protégé of mine who has been the point person for Fox 21 for several years and was more than ready for this additional responsibility,” Klein said. “She commands respect and has a great eye for not just marquis talent but for the actor coming up who is poised to break out.”
It was a major oversight when Carlos López Estrada‘s electrifying 2018 debut feature Blindspotting went virtually ignored by last year’s Academy Awards. But perhaps Estrada’s charged film on race and gentrification, which starred and was written by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, will earn the audience it deserves on the small screen.
A Blindspotting TV spin-off series is being developed by Starz, with Jasmine Cephas Jones set to reprise her role as Ashley from the film. It’s unclear whether Diggs and Casal will return, but they are confirmed to be writing the series.
Variety reports that Starz is developing a Blindspotting TV spin-off starring Jasmine Cephas Jones as Ashley, a young mother whose partner of 12 years, Miles is suddenly incarcerated. In the half-hour dramedy, the now-single mother is forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister.
Here is the synopsis per Variety:
It centers on Ashley Jones, who was nipping at the heels of a middle class life in Oakland until Miles, her partner of 12 years and father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she’s forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister. Her world is turned upside down while the neighborhood goes inside out, and she must renegotiate her relationship with a town that is caught between two conflicting identities.
In the film, Ashley kicks Miles out of the house after the gun that he rashly bought was found by their child. It’s not confirmed whether this TV spin-off will take place before or after Blindspotting, but I would guess that it follows the events of the film, in which Miles’ increasingly reckless behavior comes home to roost.
Casal and Diggs are attached to write and executive produce the series, though they have not been confirmed to star. It’s likely that Casal will at least appear in a recurring role, or at the very beginning when we see his incarceration. But Diggs, who gave a tour-de-force performance in Blindspotting, is a busy guy, preparing for a starring role in the upcoming TNT series Snowpiercer. The end of Blindspotting also signaled a change for Diggs’ ex-con, as he grappled with his toxic relationship with his friend Miles and his ties with Oakland.
Though Blindspotting seems an odd film to turn into a TV spin-off, I’m glad for Jones to get the spotlight. The Hamilton star appeared only for a few scenes in the film, but proved a major screen presence. And because the film was so focused on the relationship of its two central male characters, it would be fascinating to get more insight into the women that orbit around them.