2ND UPDATE, 11:45 AM: I hear Alpha House has gotten an official pickup, joining Betas. Alpha House follows four senators (John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, Mark Consuelos) who live together in a rented house in Washington, DC. Zombieland and Browsers did not make the cut.
Related: Full Amazon Pilot Listings
UPDATE, 9 AM: Zombieland writer-producer Rhett Reese took to Twitter to blame the series’ pickup fail on Zombieland fans themselves: “I’ll never understand the vehement hate the pilot received from die-hard Zombieland fans. You guys successfully hated it out of existence.”
UPDATE, THURSDAY PM: There will be no Zombieland TV series, at least not on Amazon. The streaming service has passed on the pilot, as well as Browsers, as it continues to narrow down the field. Read More »
While the Amazon Studios pilot Zombieland, based on the hit 2009 Sony movie, has already been cast and filmed, this is the first time the company has acknowledged its existence. The pilot hails from Sony Pictures TV, marking the first Amazon original project from a major studio. Here is the release:
SEATTLE—March 25, 2013—Amazon Studios, the original movie and series production arm of Amazon.com, today announced it will add cult classic Zombieland to the line-up of pilots already in production for Prime Instant Video. Zombieland, which is the seventh comedy pilot added to Amazon’s pilot line-up, will be made available (along with the other six comedy pilots and six children’s pilots) for free on Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM UK. Customers are invited to view the pilots and then review them on the site; customer feedback will help determine which of the 13 pilots Amazon Studios will make into full-season productions, to air on Prime Instant Video.
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EXCLUSIVE: Kirk Ward (The Island) is set as the main lead in Zombieland, Amazon Studios’ comedy pilot based on the hit 2009 movie. The project, produced by Sony TV, is a continuation of the adventures of Tallahassee (Ward), Columbus (Tyler Ross), Wichita, and her younger sister Little Rock (Izabela Vidovic) — four humans who band together to survive the zombie apocalypse. In the movie Tallahassee, a square-jawed former lowly sandwich vendor-turned-the world’s most gifted zombie slayer, was played by Woody Harrelson. Original Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick wrote the pilot and executive produce with the movie’s producer, Gavin Polone. I hear Reese and Wernick, who conceived Zombieland as a TV show, originally had Ward in mind for Tallahassee after meeting the actor while shooting the William Shatner-starring Spike TV limited series Invasion Iowa. After a successful feature detour, Zombieland now is back in TV land with Ward as lead. He is with ROAR.
EXCLUSIVE: Sundance breakout Tyler Ross, star of indie Milkshake, and up-and-comer Izabela Vidovic have been cast as two of the four leads in Zombieland, Amazon Studios’ comedy pilot based on the hit 2009 movie. The project, produced by Sony TV, is a continuation of the adventures of Tallahassee, Columbus (Ross), Wichita, and her younger sister Little Rock (Vidovic) — four humans who band together to survive the zombie apocalypse. In the movie, the “nerdy handsome” Columbus, who also narrates the story, was played by Jesse Eisenberg; Little Rock, a worldly girl hardened by adversity, was portrayed by Abigail Breslin. Original Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick wrote the pilot and executive produce with the movie’s producer, Gavin Polone. Read More »
I’ve learned that Amazon is in negotiations with Sony Pictures TV for a half-hour comedy series based on the hit 2009 feature horror comedy Zombieland. I hear the project is eying a pilot or straight-to-series order. It would mark the first original scripted series for the streaming service and the first Amazon original offering from a major studio. The company had been ramping up original production through its own Amazon Studios, the original film and series production arm of Amazon.com, which is behind six recently greenlighted comedy pilots.
I hear original Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are onboard for the series as writers/executive producers, as is the movie’s producer Gavin Polone, who would executive produce. Sony TV, Reese, Wernick and Polone previously set up a Zombieland comedy series project at Fox last season. The deal with Amazon would fulfill the trio’s original vision for Zombieland as a TV series, which was first developed for CBS in 2005 before the rise of alternative digital distributors of original series like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. After CBS passed and Syfy couldn’t make a deal for the show, the project was turned into the Ruben Fleischer-directed feature starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, which became a sleeper hit. I hear Fleischer, busy with pilots under his overall deal at 20th TV, is not involved in the Zombieland series, with Eli … Read More »
UPDATE: The first-dollar gross producer just left WME and was hotly pursued by both CAA and UTA. His choice to go to UTA will surprise Hollywood since it wasn’t that long ago that he was a partner there who left in a major dispute that erupted into a bitter lawsuit with lots of dirty laundry airing. But Gavin Polone and the agency decided to let bygones be bygones. (Don’t you love this town?) Actually, since his departure, UTA has worked closely with Gavin for years now on his many TV series and movies. UTA will represent Polone and his prolific Pariah shingle in film and television and will also help guide Polone’s transition into the director’s chair. Meanwhile, it’s a shocker that Polone left WME since they were joined at the hip during the Conan O’Brien NBC/TNT negotiations. Some insiders are telling me that “something bad” went down that got Polone very angry. But WME is claiming: ”the relationship with him is still good. We still work realy closely with him,” and that Polone was in the office earlier this week even after he discharged the agency. Sure, because they have a lot of business together.
Then again, it’s amazing Polone (aka, the “Dark Prince” of Hollywood) has a thriving production company after he kept publicly dissing those WGA strikers. Yet here he is prepping to make his feature directorial debut on the crime thriller … Read More »
Lucy Punch has signed with WME. Punch, who’d been repped by ICM, makes the move at a time when she’s about to open in the Jay Roach-directed Dinner for Schmucks, followed by Woody Allen’s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, the Nicole Kassell-directed Earthbound and the Jake Kasdan-directed Bad Teacher, which also stars Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal and Justin Timberlake. Punch continues to be managed by The Schiff Company and UK-based United Agents.
CAA has signed Amber Heard, who is coming off Zombieland and will next be seen opposite Johnny Depp in the Bruce Robinson-directed The Rum Diary and opposite Nicolas Cage in the Patrick Lussier-directed Drive Angry. Heard had been repped by WME, and remains lawyer-ed up with Karl Austen.