Thursday, August 6, 2015

Development News - Ryan Phillippe to Play Lead Role on USA Pilot 'Shooter'; HBO Orders 2 David Simon Pilots; Plus 3 More Updates!

Development News - August 6, 2015

ABC Family's Guilt; Amazon's The Patriot; FOX's Star; HBO's The Deuce & Untitled David Simon Project; and USA's Shooter.

  • Following a lengthy deal-making process, Ryan Phillippe (Secrets and Lies, Damages) has been tapped to star in the drama pilot adaptation of the 2007 film of the same name. His casting means the project is officially moving to the pilot stage. The project follows Bob Lee Swagger (Phillippe), an off-the-grid former Marine sniper who is coaxed into action to thwart the killing of the President. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he must call upon all the skills he acquired as a decorated Marine sharpshooter to avoid capture while hunting down and exposing the traitors who set him up. The pilot was written by John Hlavin, who executive produces with Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Phillippe will serve as a producer. Simon Cellan Jones will direct the pilot. Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions will produce.
  • Fox TV Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden announced during her executive session at the TCA summer press tour that the network has ordered a pilot for Star, a new drama set in the music business from Empire's Lee Daniels. The project is set in Atlanta and revolves three girls who come together to form a band. The series will detail their rise to the top in a challenging music business. Daniels is creating Star with Tom Donaghy (The Whole Truth). 20th Century Fox Television will likely produce, since that's where Daniels inked an overall deal a month ago.
  • The premium cable network is staying in business with David Simon (The Wire, Treme) with two pilot orders today. The first is for a period drama called The Deuce, with James Franco (11/22/63) playing the lead role and Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) set to direct. The project follows the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York of the early 1970s and continues through the mid-1980s. The series will explore the rough-and-tumble world that existed in midtown Manhattan until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence. Named for 42nd Street, The Deuce is inspired in part by the career of twin brothers who were players in the Times Square world and became fronts for Mob control of the volatile and lucrative sex industry from its origins. Simon wrote the pilot with long-time collaborator George Pelecanos. Richard Price will be credited on subsequent scripts. Simon, Pelecanos, Price, MacLaren and France will executive produce, alongside Nina K. Noble. Marc Henry Johnson is a producer.
  • The second pilot order for David Simon is for an untitled project that is set in the present-day world of Capitol Hill. The series will provide a detailed examination of partisanship and the influence of money on national governance. Simon will pen the pilot with Carl Bernstein, who will co-executive produce. William F. Zorzi and Nina K. Noble will also executive produce.
  • Michael Dorman (The Water Diviner), Kathleen Munroe (Resurrection) and Kurtwood Smith (That '70s Show) have joined the cast of the drama pilot written by Steve Conrad. Dorman will play John Allerton, a career spy who is plagued by one little detail: he's got a government job and, in the real world, everyone in the Federal Goverment screws up. Munroe will play Alice, John's wife and an elementary school teacher who is forced to hold down the fort when her husband is away for long periods of time. Smith will play Mr. Claret, who has an adversarial relationship with John.
  • Daisy Head (Endeavour), Katrina Law (Arrow), Billy Zane (Mad Dogs), Zachary Fall (Crossing Lines) and Kevin Ryan (Copper) have been cast on the drama pilot written by Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price. Head will play Grace, an American attending college in London when her Irish flat mate is found brutally murdered at their place. Law will play Olivia, Grace's older sister. Zane will play Stan Gutterie, an American defense attorney working in London because he ran afoul of too many judges in the U.S. Fall will play Luc, Grace's boyfriend. Ryan will play Patrick, Molly's older brother.