Ah, McG. Just mention of the name alone is enough to get the vitriol pumping through the veins of Internet movie nerds. The early dislike for the director hasn’t dissipated in recent years after first disappointing the fanboys of one movie franchise with “Terminator Salvation” (although personally we’d have loved to see his much darker ending make the final cut) then returning last year and squandering a fantastic cast (Pine! Hardy! Witherspoon!) on the way to delivering a woefully inept comedy with “This Means War.” Next up for the director on the big screen is the Luc Besson-produced thriller “Three Days to Kill” (currently set to star Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld and Connie Nielsen), but it also looks like he has plans for a project on the small screen.
“Venice” has been given a pilot by ABC, which McG will direct and produce via his Wonderland Sound and Vision alongside Warner Bros. The show will apparently echo the story of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” except it will be relocated to California’s Venice. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, apparently the show will revolve around “the haves and have-nots of one of California’s most seductive cities,” while focusing on (of course) “two rival families and a forbidden dangerous romance emerging between them as the two families battle for control of Venice.”
We don’t want to wail on McG, but he sure makes it easy (and isn’t the premise of “Venice” the basic structure of every soap opera?). If “Three Days to Kill” seemed like a more interesting project for him (well, as interesting as a Luc Besson thriller can be nowadays), this looks like a move in the opposite direction. His involvement beyond the pilot will probably be minimal, but given that synopsis we’d be impressed if it gets beyond the pilot stage in the first place. We’ll have to see what kind of cast it assembles, or whether they can contort it to be camp but interesting in the vein of something like “Veronica Mars,” but we’re not expecting an awful lot. [Deadline]