As far as two people to create a TV series together, it’d be hard to do much better than J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron. The former is, obviously, the man behind hits like “Alias,” “Lost” and “Revolution,” while the latter is the acclaimed filmmaker behind “Children Of Men,” who’ll make his long-awaited return this October with “Gravity.” The delayed post-production on the latter gave Cuaron the time to cook up “Believe” with Abrams, and direct a pilot, NBC picked up the show, and now a trailer has arrived, via /Film.
The show seems to be a sort of blend of “The Fugitive,” “Paper Moon” and Abrams’ vaguely sci-fi conspiracy millieu (the show looks a lot like “Fringe” at this point — good news for us, probably not good news when it comes to the ratings.) It follows an ex-con (Jake McLaughlin of “Warrior” and “Safe House,“) who has to protect a girl (Johnny Sequoyah) with special, potentially world-changing powers. Delroy Lindo, Sienne Guillory, Jamie Chung and Kyle MacLachlan are also among the cast and it looks like fun, if not immediately like something wildly innovative. NBC currently don’t have it on the schedule, so it’ll either air in 2014, or whenever their other shows start tanking, whichever comes first (Spoiler: the latter).
Meanwhile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Mia Maestro (“Breaking Dawn“) has signed up to star alongside Corey Stoll (“House of Cards“) and Kevin Durand in FX’s “The Strain.” This new vampire thriller comes by way of Guillermo del Toro, who will be directing the pilot, and Carlton Cuse. The series is based on a trilogy of novels that Guillermo worked on along with writing partner Chuck Hogan, who will help pen the TV series.
The story centers on Dr. Ephraim Good Weather (Stoll,) the head of a CDC steam stationed in New York, who is called in to investigate a viral outbreak with connections to vampirism. Maestro will play Dr. Nora Martinez; a biochemist who begins an affair with Ephraim after working closely with him. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter also reveal that Jonathan Hyde and Richard Hammel have also joined the cast, as an elderly disabled billionaire, and a mysterious figure from another character’s past, respectively.
After winning an Oscar, it came as a surprise that Ang Lee’s next project would be to direct the pilot for the FX series “Tyrant.” However, it looks as if the Oscar-winning director will now be exiting the project. “Tyrant,” a new drama from Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff (“Homeland“) and Craig Wright (“Six Feet Under,“) would follow an American family swept into the turmoil of a Middle East nation. Lee had originally signed on to direct in February of this year, but realized that he needed some personal time.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he said: “It is one of the most brilliant ideas for a series that I’ve seen and one about which I was very excited. However, after spending over four years making and promoting ‘Life of Pi,‘ I have recently realized that I need some rest. Because I cannot give 100 percent to this exciting project at this time, I cannot allow myself to do anything that may affect the potential for this exciting new series.” Well, at least we know it’s exciting. The studio behind the project, Fox 21, expects the hunt for a new director to not affect the shooting schedule for the series.