EXCLUSIVE: Emma Stone and Jonah Hill are finalizing deals to star and Cary Fukunaga to direct Maniac, a blockbuster half-hour series package from Paramount TV and Anonymous Content, sources say.
The dark comedy is 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. Hill and Stone will both play patients in the institution. I hear the project will be seeking a straight-to-series order, possibly for two seasons, with Fukunaga likely directing all episodes. Search is underway for a writer.
Fukunaga, Stone and Hill executive produce with Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Doug Wald. Anonymous’ Ashley Zalta co-executive produces. The project stems from Fukunaga and Anonymous’ deals with Paramount TV. It was packaged by WME, which reps Stone, Hill and Fukunaga, and Paradigm, which reps the format from Nordic World.
The original Maniac drama series, from Lilyhammer producer Rubicon TV, is written and directed by Hakon Bast Mossige and Espen PA Lervaag who also star in the show, airing on TV2. It is produced by Pal Kristiansen and Anna Kolbjørnsen of Rubicon TV and distributed by EspenHuseby of Nordic World.
Here is a trailer for the series, whose tagline is “everyday loser/fantasy hero,” with English subtitles:
Fukunaga is coming off writing, directing and produ
cing the acclaimed feature Beasts of No Nation. In TV, he previously teamed with Anonymous for another big series package headlined by a duo of movie stars, True Detective starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Fukunaga won an Emmy for his directing work on the first installment of the HBO crime anthology series where he also helmed all episodes.
Hill and Stone are both Oscar nominees – Hill for Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street and Stone for Birdman. The two previously worked together in the comedy feature Superbad.
Anonymous is coming off a best picture Oscar win for Spotlight, while Paramount TV is coming off the success of its live musical Grease on Fox.
Under the three-year first-look deal Paramount TV inked with Anonymous Content in 2014, the companies also have
TNT’s straight-to-series drama The Alienist, based on Caleb Carr’s novel, also with Fukunaga; two straight-to-series orders, Thirteen Reasons Why at Netflix, executive produced by Selena Gomez, and Berlin Station at EPIX, and two pilots at Hulu, Citizen and When The Street
Lights Go On. Additionally, the two companies are developing a series based on Rachel Kushner’s book Telex From Cuba being created by Carol screenwriter Phyllis Nagy; Legbreakers, an English-language version of the hit Swedish drama seriesTorpederna; and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory,based on Caitlin Doughty’s memoir.