The migration, or exodus if you will, continues. The stigma of television is so long gone it’s actually reversed. As the industry shifts and the quality of the small screen has soared thanks to HBO, Showtime, Netflix, and cable subscribers, more and more filmmakers and talent are looking at TV not as pivot of mediums, but simply as a longer, deeper form of narrative that’s often just as compelling as film. A forerunner in this direction is filmmaker Cary Fukuanaga. The indie director of “Sin Nombre” and “Jane Eyre” has already experimented successfully with TV (season one of “True Detective”) and streaming networks (“Beasts of No Nation”). Fukunaga already has a TV event series at TNT ramping up (“The Alienist”), and now the omnivorous and non-partisan helmer has got yet another TV project in the works.
According to Deadline, Cary Fukunaga is to direct “Maniac” for DirecTV, and Emma Stone and Jonah Hill are finalizing deals to star (yes, it’s a “Superbad” reunion for the two leads). A half-hour series package from Paramount TV and Anonymous Content (the producers behind “True Detective,” and recent Oscar-winner “Spotlight”), the show will also be a something of a gear shift for the director in that it’s a dark comedy. Based on the 2014 Norwegian series about a guy who lives a fantasy life in his dreams but in reality is locked up at an institution, the show is apparently seeking a straight-to-series order, possibly for two seasons. Fukunaga will likely direct all the episodes like he did in “True Detective,” though he vowed after that marathon experience he would never helm an entire season of a show himself again. Evidently a search is underway for a writer.
Remember the names Anonymous Content and Michael Sugar, as they are behind some of the hottest projects today (“The Revenant,” “Spotlight”), especially when it comes to TV (see “The Knick,” “Mr. Robot,” and more). Comedy may seem like a strange move for Fukunaga, considering all his films have been dark dramas, so far, but the filmmaker has already tried to make a horror movie (Stephen King’s “It”), has been working on a musical for years, and has stressed in past interviews he would love to do comedy. It seems, with a superstar cast in tow, Fukunaga is having his wish fulfilled. [Deadline]