Director Gregori Viens’ indie comedy/future cult film “Punching the Clown” won the audience award for best narrative feature at Slamdance in 2009 before a small self-distributed theatrical release in 2010. The film, which Viens co-wrote with star Henry Phillips, is loosely based on Phillips’ life as a writer and performer of comedic songs, and follows him as he navigates sudden showbiz success and a just as sudden fall from grace in Los Angeles.
Now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, “Punching the Clown” is being developed into a TV series at Showtime, with Viens, Phillips and Chuck Martin (“Arrested Development”) serving as writers, and all three attached as executive producers alongside Sarah Silverman and David Permut (“Youth in Revolt”).
Viens and Phillips have been working on variations of this story for years — before “Punching the Close” was a narrative feature, they reportedly made a documentary on the subject together in 1997. The TV incarnation of this project will have Phillips living with his brother, a struggling actor, and dealing with different romantic entanglements.
The trailer for “Punching the Clown” is below: