After a batch of pilots were ordered last month (Our Man On The Moon, Crushed, Citizen, When the Street Lights Go On) and while straigh-to-series Shut Eye is finishing casting (KaDee Stricland, David Zayas, Isabella Rossellini, Emmanuelle Chiqri), Hulu is about to pick-up post-apocalyptic mini-series Chemical High.
Chris Grismer (Vampire Diaries, The Originals) will direct, based on scripts written by Matt Lewis (Dr House, Body Of Proof) & Beth Szymkowski (Royal Crush). Shelley Zimmerman is producing (What I Like About You). Shooting starts late March for 3 months. When alarms go off at a small town high school, a ragtag group of students go underground to the bomb shelter, only to emerge to discover that the world outside has been completely destroyed and overrun with hungry, bloodthirsty creatures…
After Our Man on the Moon & Crushed, streaming platform Hulu is working on an order for another pilot, this time a drama from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon called Citizen…
The Me and Earl and the Girldying helmer who worked on television for American Horror Story and Red Band Society co-wrote the project with Nick Schutt (staff writer on Blood and oil) and will direct the pilot. The potential series tells the story of a former soldier from a brutal Latin America dictatorship who, after being trained by the CIA, finds his way to America and begins a one-man crusade to bring justice to the poor, the disenfranchised and those with nowhere else to run.
Anonymous Content (Mr Robot, True Detective) is co-producing with Paramount Television, through CEO and founder Steve Golin in association with Matt Kanter (The Revenant) & Matt DeRoss (The Loft).
After the successful launch of Casual this fall and two big dramas coming in the next couple of months –11/22/63 & The Path– Hulu picks-up a comedy pilot from Peebles director named Crushed.
The project written by Tina Gordon Chism and produced by Chris Selak is about an African-American family who stumbles into a successful wine business in Napa. The fish-out-water story follows the family’s unorthodox approach to wine making and their unique life style. It was first set up at HBO in 2013 but didn’t get a pilot order. Lionsgate Television, which is producing, shopped it elsewhere and Hulu showed some interest leading to a pilot pick-up.
It joins another comedy pilot ordered by Hulu last August called Future Man, produced by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg. It involves a janitor who moonlights as a world-ranked video-gamer “tasked with preventing the extinction of humans after mysterious visitors from the future declare him to be the key to defeating the imminent super-race invasion.
Hulu keeps on beefing up its original slate with an order for “Our Man On The Moon” from Amblin Television, after picking up “Casual”, “Difficult People”, “11.22.63”, ” The Path” & “Shut Eye” to series.
The project is based on Graham Greene’s 1958 famous novel Our Man in Havana, already turned into a movie in 1959, an opera in 1963 and a play in 2007. So here comes the inevitable TV series, with a space twist, produced by Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey from Amblin Television. As of now, Steven Spielberg is not attached to it but he can always add his name later in the process.
Our Man on the Moon tells the story of a vacuum salesman who is part of the first community on the moon and who attempts to raise enough money to send his daughter to college on Earth when agrees to spy for the CIA, who believe him to be dealing in more advanced machinery. It’s both an espionage and a science-fiction dramedy. Shooting is scheduled to start late February.
Written & produced by Jessica Goldberg (Parenthood, Camp, Deception). Co-produced by Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, Roswell, My so-called Life), Michelle Lee (About a Boy) & Aaron Paul. For Hulu, Universal Television & True Jack Productions. 67 pages.
Description: What does it mean to choose between the life we live and the life we want? The Way examines a family at the center of a controversial cult movement struggling with relationships, marriage, power and this dilemma everyday…
With Hugh Dancy (Hannibal, The Big C, King Arthur), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Big Love, Need for Speed), Michelle Monaghan (True Detective, Boston Public, Gone Baby Gone), Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy, The Mentalist), Sarah Jones (Alcatraz, Vegas), Kathleen Turner, Minka Kelly (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure, Numb3rs),,Kyle Allen…
PREMIERING THIS WINTER ON HULU
A lot of people will compare The Way to The Leftovers. And I’m OK with the comparison (as a die hard fan of the Damon -God- Linfelof’s show that is coming back soon). But I want to come up with another one. The Way made me think about Big Love, which I loved passionnately when it was on, on HBO, and which I still miss dearly. Not a lot of people watched it, sadly. I hope more people will give The Way a try. It’s on Hulu, so we shouldn’t witness a miracle here. But it’s a really great show to start their new original drama revolution with. I mean… It comes from Mr Friday Night Lights-Parenthood Jason Katims, and it’s a family show! A very unusual one, indeed. It’s no surprise if such talented guys as Hugh Dancy & Aaron Paul signed on for it! They know what they’re doing, they know where they’re going…But do we?
The pilot starts with an intriguing scene featuring a post-tornado destroyed village somewhere in rural New Hampshire and an heavenly figure who’s helping the needing families, even before the authorities are there. But don’t be naive: Cal Roberts is here to recruit. He needs new members for “The Way”, the cult he works for (but he’s not the boss). He’s charismatic, strong, convicing, charming… Well, he’s Hugh -innocent pretty face- Dancy. Who woulnd’t follow him wherever? (The man’s gonna be great in the role) And he’s using people’s weaknesses, fragilities to get what he wants from them (which is total devotion). Classic technique. There’s a lot to say about this man, most of it is left unanswered at the end of the pilot but he can be brutal and one thing’s for sure: whatever his reasons are to do what he’s doing he’s not one of the good guys. In fact, who is in this organization? They all do things they can’t be proud of. But Cal is not part of the Cleary family. His nemesis is.
Aaron Paul plays Eddie Cleary, a convert to the controversial movement with a wayward past. He’s a husband to Sarah Cleary, and a father of two, and he suffers a crisis of faith when all that he’s come to accept as truth, for love mostly, is fundamentally challenged. But from The Way, you can’t escape and he’s gonna learn it the hard way. Cal Roberts won’t let him go that easily, even if Sarah was meant to be his wife, not Eddie’s. They were a couple a long time ago but Sarah chose Eddie over Cal. There’s history here. A promising adult love triangle that is… I’m puzzled about Aaron Paul in this role. It’s SO different from Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. It’s a good thing for him, he will be able to show another side of this talent, but still, is he the right choice? He seems too young for the part in fact, and I have a hard time picturing him married to Michelle Monaghan, with two kids. But we’ll see. Aaron Paul Vs. Hugh Dancy is an exciting perspective, though.
The Way is a very well-crafted pilot that moves forward at the right pace, with a sense of mystery and sobriety that makes it really immersive. It’s not as lyrical and poetic as The Leftovers, it’s not as cheery as Big Love sometimes was. The Way is its own thing, part family drama with soap elements, part religious-themed documentary, part thriller, part investigation, since the FBI is watching The Way. It’s easy to get fascinated by The Way, the people in it, the Cleary family, the compound life… and it’s exciting to think about all the things we don’t know about yet, from the way the cult works to the characters’s pasts, secrets… How did they end up here? We don’t know yet and maybe that’s why this pilot makes us wanna stay.