Update, December 10: The Wrap reports that Emma Stone is set to star in the Showtime series along with Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie. The show is described as a “a genre-bending scripted comedy that explores how an alleged curse disturbs the relationship of a newly married couple as they try to conceive a child while co-starring on their problematic new HGTV show.”
Earlier, February 18: Nathan Fielder and “Uncut Gems” directors Benny and Josh Safdie are bringing their talents to Showtime, which has given the green light to a pilot for “The Curse.”
Deadline reported that the half-hour comedy series, co-written by Benny and Fielder (“Nathan For You”) and directed by the Safdie brothers, will center on a mysterious curse that disturbs the relationship of a married couple who star in a fictional HGTV show. Fielder is expected to play the husband, while Benny will play the producer of the fictional show. Fielder and the Safdie Brothers will executive produce the pilot, which will be produced by Showtime.
Additional details about the series, including additional casting and a release date, are still under wraps. A Showtime representative declined to comment.
The Showtime pickup continues what has been a prolific few months for the Safdie brothers, whose Adam Sandler-led “Uncut Gems” became a smash critical and commercial hit. IndieWire’s Eric Kohn lauded the Safdie brothers’ abilities to create nuanced and flawed characters in his effusive “Uncut Gems” review last year. The drama was nominated for an array of awards and the Safdie brothers won the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Director. “The Curse” will serve as the Safdie brothers’ first television venture.
As for Fielder, the comedian and actor was recently nominated for an Emmy for his directing work on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” Fielder also signed a one-year overall deal at HBO last year which will see him executive produce half-hour documentary series “How To…With John Wilson.” Fielder will also star, write, and direct an untitled comedy pilot for HBO, though details about that project are still unavailable.
“The Curse” will need to be picked up to series after the pilot process is completed, but Showtime has already announced the impending return of several of its popular comedy series. An eleventh and final season of “Shameless” will hit the network in mid-2020, and “Work in Progress” was also renewed in January.
Showtime also formally announced its deal with recent Oscar-winner Taika Waititi, who’s on board to direct and co-write the horror-comedy series, “The Auteur,” starring Jude Law. The series is officially in development and Showtime has ordered several scripts.
The premium network’s other comedy pilots include the Vanessa Bayer-led “Big Deal” and the bluntly titled “How To Make Love To A Black Woman (Who May Be Working Through Some Sh*t).”