UCP is developing dark comedy series The Resort from Andy Siara, writer of Sundance breakout Palm Springs, and Sam Esmail’s Esmail Corp, which is under a deal with UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios. Anonymous Content is producing. The series will be shopped to premium and streaming platforms.
The Resort explores love and the weird things we do in the name of it, encased in an elaborate true-crime conspiracy, with each season set in a unique picturesque vacation destination. The first season takes place at an all-inclusive resort along the Mayan Riviera, when a married couple on the brink of divorce inadvertently becomes embroiled in one of the Yucatan's most bizarre, unsolved mysteries that, somehow, is part metaphysical detective story, part Indiana Jones-esque adventure, part coming-of-age romance.
The Siara-written Palm Springs, which stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, is one of the buzziest titles coming out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. As Deadline reported, sources familiar with the heated multi-bidder auction said the pic sold to Hulu/Neon for close to $22 million, far and away the biggest Sundance deal of all time.
Siara is currently a co-producer on UCP/EsmailCorp's limited series Angelyne for Peacock, NBCUniversal's upcoming streaming service, with Emmy Rossum starring in the title role and Lucy Tcherniak directing.
UCP's relationship with Esmail began with the award-winning drama Mr. Robot which wrapped its fourth and final season on USA Network in January. Esmail currently executive produces three series for UCP: USA’s new anthology series Briarpatch, Amazon's Homecoming and Angelyne.
Previously, Siara was a staff writer on Lodge 49. He started his career touring the country with his indie rock band The Henry Clay People before getting an MFA in screenwriting from AFI in 2015. Siara is repped by LBI Entertainment and Morris Yorn.
Homecoming‘s Sam Esmail is bringing another podcast to television.
He’ll executive produce Gaslit, a drama that focuses on the “untold stories and forgotten characters” of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. The series is based on the popular podcast Slow Burn, which debuted in 2017, and the TV adaptation has lined up an impressive cast: Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Armie Hammer, and Joel Edgerton are all set to star.
Deadline brings word about the adaptation, which will have Robbie Pickering Mr. Robot, Search Party on board as the showrunner. Joel Edgerton and his brother, Nash Edgerton, who have been a part of a filmmaking collective for years and have directed four features, 17 episodes of television, and a handful of shorts between them, will direct and executive produce this show.
Gaslit is a modern take on Watergate that focuses on the untold stories and forgotten characters of the scandal, from Nixon’s bumbling, opportunistic subordinates, to the deranged zealots aiding and abetting their crimes, to the tragic whistleblowers who would eventually bring the whole rotten enterprise crashing down.
Penn plays John Mitchell, the ruthless, temperamental, loudmouthed Attorney General, trusted advisor, and best friend of President Richard Nixon. Roberts is playing his wife Martha, who ends up being “the first person to publicly sound the alarm on Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, causing both the Presidency and her personal life to unravel.” Her decision puts her husband in a bind: does he choose his wife, or his President?
Hammer is portraying John Dean, the White House lawyer “torn between his ambition and his struggle with whether he can lie to protect the President.” Edgerton is set to play G. Gordon Liddy, the former FBI agent who finds himself as the primary operative of Nixon’s “Plumbers” unit, who is “tasked with plugging embarrassing leaks in the wake of the Pentagon Papers.”
As you can tell, there’s absolutely no relevance whatsoever to anything happening in today’s American political landscape. None.
“Now more than ever, truth is absolutely stranger than fiction,” Esmail said in a statement. “When Robbie first told me about the Slow Burn podcast, I devoured it instantly. The second I finished it, I felt compelled to bring this story to television especially after watching the cowardice on display during the recent impeachment hearings. To help realize this important chapter in our country’s history, my first call was to the brilliant Julia Roberts. After her captivating performance in Homecoming, I knew Julia was the only person who could tackle the complex role of Martha Mitchell and lead our stellar cast in adapting this bizarre and controversial...
Joby Harold, whose writing credits include Awake, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Army of the Dead, has been hired as the new writer of the untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. Get the details below.
Variety has the news, reporting that Harold is taking over as the show’s writer after the show was shut down earlier this year. Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini turned in scripts, sets were built, staff were hired, and star Ewan McGregor was back on board…but Lucasfilm decided to pull the plug and start from scratch, throwing out Amini’s scripts and beginning the search for a new writer to come in and take over. That search, which at one time reportedly included The Mandalorian veterans Dave Filoni and Christopher Yost as options, is now over, as the studio has hired Joby Harold to get things back on track.
Harold is an unexpected choice for this job, since he’s arguably better known as a producer than a writer at this point. He’s produced or executive produced Edge of Tomorrow, Robin Hood, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and the WGN America series Underground. On the writing side, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Awake, back in 2007, and a decade passed before his script for King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword was eventually produced. That film was supposed to launch a six-movie franchise, but didn’t perform well enough to even get a single sequel, let alone five. Army of the Dead is in post-production and he’s on board to write another Transformers project, but those are the only four writing credits listed.