It’s fair to say that Taika Waititi’s Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay is not slowing him down. Quite the opposite, in fact. For we learned Tuesdsay that Waititi is developing a new half-hour comedy series over at Showtime and it already has Jude Law attached to star. Truly the work of The Auteur, indeed.
While Showtime stopped short of ordering Waititi’s The Auteur to series, they have commissioned several episodes worth of scripts, indicating a series pickup is likely. It probably helps it has the added star wattage of Jude Law also attached. The series is set to be co-written between Waititi and Peter Warren (2016’s Ghost Team), with Waititi also directing at least the first episode of the show. The setup is adapted from a graphic novel of the same name that was created by Rick Spears, James Callahan, and Luigi Anderson as a horror-comedy satire of the moviemaking industry.
The premise is that a cash-strapped movie producer, who just endured one massive box office bomb, is determined to make a cheapie horror movie hit that can be developed quickly. Unfortunately for him, and worse for his crew, he’s unintentionally trapped the production team on a backlot with a serial killer walking amongst them. I suppose it’s a fair question to ponder who’ll be the auteur here: the producer or the serial killer who’s a slave to his craft?
The official synopsis for the first five issues reads:
Fresh off the biggest bomb in Hollywood history, producer Nathan T. Rex enters a downward spiral of drugs and depravity in a quest to resurrect his career and save his soul. Over budget and behind schedule on PRESIDENTS DAY, he is backed into a corner by bad publicity, a crap project, and studio politics. But enlisting serial-killer-turned-murder-consultant Darwin, his trusty assistant Igor, narcotics from Doctor Love, and the lovely actress Coconut, T. Rex will stop at nothing in his quest for cinematic fame and glory. God help us all.
Amy Israel, Showtime EVP for scripted programming, said in a statement, “The Auteur unites the wildly imaginative filmmaker Taika Waititi and the barbed wit of Peter Warren with the undeniable Jude Law in a bloody love letter to the movies that will make you simultaneously die laughing and want to run for your life.”
This marks Waititi’s second foray into television in as many years after executive producing What We Do in the Shadows on FX, albeit this appears to be much more hands on. It also continues to fill up his impressively stuffed plate, which includes a new movie at Searchlight Pictures, Next Goal Wins, another go-round with the God of Thunder at Marvel Studios in Thor: Love and Thunder, and allegedly a potential Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm (which has not been confirmed).
It also is another televised feather in the cap of Law, who is completing his run as The New Pope on HBO this year, for which he was previously nominated for a Golden Globe. He also has a pair of Oscar nominations of his own from back in the day, one for Best Supporting Actor in The Talented Mr. Ripley and another for his leading turn in Cold Mountain.
David Crow is the Film Section Editor at Den of Geek. He’s also a member of both the Critics Choice Association and the Online Film Critics Society. Read more of his work here. You can follow him on Twitter @DCrowsNest.