- Frank Spotnitz (THE X-FILES) is adapting Phil Dick‘s mucho-kudo’ed masterpiece of fiction, The Man in the High Castle into a pilot for an Amazon Studios series. (There is so much wonderfulness in that sentence that I just have to sit back and taste it for a beat. If this comes anywhere near yer friendly neighborhood muncher’s expectations, I promise to stop mocking Amazon and except it as, oh, almost a genuine, professional studio-network-whatever. And who knows? Maybe I’ll toss out the “almost” bit too.)
- Warren Ellis (currently a big deal comic book writer, don’tcha know?) has a deal with Universal Cable Productions to write an as-yet-untitled pilot about an as-yet-unspecified bunch of characters engaged in as-yet-unspecified, um, stuff. (I can hear the Warren Ellis fans celebrating already. As well that should.)
- Taylor Elmore (JUSTIFIED) has a new overall deal with CBS TV Studios to develop and write and produce and all that good stuff that we all want to do. (And while I’m not a member of the JUSTIFIED Rave Society, I wish the Tayman all the luck and success in the world. Cuz I just can’t help meself. Y’all know how positive a nature the munchman has.)
- Charlie Kaufman‘s (INSIDE JOHN MALKOVICH) FX pilot isn’t going to series after all. (Proving that even the A+ listers can get crapped on. Sorry, Charlie – and believe me, I mean it. Cuz if they can reject Charlie Kaufman, what chance do the rest of us writerly types have?)
- Evan Endicott & Josh Stoddard (pretty much newbs) are developing a sitcom called BETAS for Amazon Studios, about a group of nerds on a quest for nerd fame by cracking the ultimate code. (This series is greenlighted, possibly thanks to the participation of Ed Begley Jr. and several other old pros. Congrats to the newbs!)
- Charlie Kaufman (your favorite weird feature writer, right?) is developing an FX sitcom called HOW AND WHY about a genius who is clueless about life. (We’re hoping like crazy that this one gets on the air, not just because it’s Kaufman – although that’s reason enough – but because it, heh, obviously seems to be about us.)
- Bob Boyett & Robert Horn (both of FAMILY MATTERS, FULL HOUSE, etc.) will be writing and running an unnamed and unattached new comedy starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence based on their concept that only Grammer, Lawrence, and the money men have heard. (Don’t get all envious. They will, after all, be working with 2 famous, well, madmen, you know?)
- The Guardian U.K. recently pointed out that no woman has written for DOCTOR WHO since 2008. This means that the show is under some pressure to come up with a hot femme writer. And this in turn means that if you’re a woman and are up to the gig now is definitely the time to get your people on it. (Just some friendly insider advice from TVWriter™, aka The House of Weird Networking.)
- Speaking of writers who aren’t writing but should be, a study commissioned by the Writers Guild of America reports that during the 2011-12 season only 30.5% of working TV writers were women and only 15.6% were minorities of either sex. The study also discovered that almost 1/3 of all shows had no writers over 50 years old. (And this was a statistical improvement. For the life of us, we can’t figure out if that’s a good sign or a bad one. Oy…)
Guess what? It’s already funded. In fact, more than funded. After only 9 days.
Just think how quickly you could get funding if you were the writer of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ETerNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, and ADAPTATION., working with the creator of COMMUNITY.
Meanwhile, if you want to be part of this particular parade, the financing of Anomalisa still has 48 days to go.
So, uh, Kickstarter no longer is for you and me? I mean, how do we compete for the bucks when it’s rapidly becoming overrun with stars? Deserving stars, we don’t doubt. But still…
Charlie Kaufman Pens Stop-Motion Animated Film ‘Anomalisa,’ ‘Community’ Creator Dan Harmon Exec-Producing
by Oliver Lyttelton
Charlie Kaufman might be having some issues getting his next directorial effort, “Frank Or Francis,” up and running, but he’s not exactly lacking for work. The writer of “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” is adapting young-adult novel “The Knife Of Letting Go” for Lionsgate, and he’s developing an HBO series starring Catherine Keener. And now, he’s moving into new territory with some very, very interesting collaborators.
As pointed out by sometime Playlist contributor @williambgoss on Twitter, a Kickstarter page popped up today for a project called “Anomalisa,” a stop-motion animated film written by Kaufman, his first incursion away from live-action. And he’s teamed up with Starburns Industries to get the film made. What does that mean? Well, as the title might give away to fans, it means a “Community” tie-in, with the cult sitcom’s creator and former showrunner, Dan Harmon, along with his friend and sometime collaborator Dino Stamatopolous, who played the occasional character of Starburns on the series, as well as being a consulting producer. But he’s probably best known as the man behind cult Adult Swim animation “Moral Orel” and “Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole.”
Hey, let’s look at the bright side. Maybe Kaufman and Harmon won’t get along and they’ll have to refund the money. Which will mean a little something still available for the likes of…us. (New writers “us,” not TVWriter™ “us.” Okay, boss?)