DEADLINE – Netflix has handed a series order to First Kill, a YA vampire series based on the short story by New York Times bestselling author Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, with American Horror Story and Scream Queens star Emma Roberts set to produce via her Belletrist Productions. The eight-episode, one-hour series was created, written and executive produced by Schwab. Felicia D. Henderson (The Punisher, Empire) also writes and serves as showrunner.
DEADLINE – Emma Roberts has signed a first-look deal at Hulu and will focus on adapting books for television.
The American Horror Story and Scream Queens star struck the deal with the streamer via her Belletrist TV production company, which has set an adaptation of Carola Lovering’s Tell Me Lies as her first project.
DEADLINE – We’re The Millers and American Horror Story actress Emma Roberts is attached to star with UK comedian Jack Whitehall in Robots, a comedy feature in which a womanizer and a gold digger learn humanity when forced to team up and pursue robot doubles of themselves.
Anthony Hines will direct the film, which Rocket Science is launching international sales on at the Cannes virtual market now underway. CAA Media Finance, which arranged financing, reps domestic distribution rights.
Borat and Ali G writer Ant Hines and Casper Christensen penned the screenplay, which is based on the short story by science-fiction writer Robert Sheckley. Charles and Elaine, who trick people into relationships with illegal robot doubles of themselves, unwittingly use the scam on each other. Their robot doubles fall in love and elope, forcing Charles and Elaine to team up to hunt them down before the authorities discover their secret.
Stephen Hamel (Passengers), who developed the project under his Company Films banner, and Cassian Elwes (Mudbound) at Elevated, are producing.
“This project combines two of the genres I enjoy the most – sci-fi and comedy,” Hamel said. “It’s outrageously hysterical while providing unexpectedly sweet affirmations of our need for love and connection with each other. If two robots can fall in love, why can’t we!? Ant Hines is a powerhouse of talent and together with the dream team of Emma Roberts and Jack Whitehall, I couldn’t be more enthused.”
Added Elwes: “Ant and Casper have written one of the funniest scripts I’ve read in a while. Bringing in Jack Whitehall and Emma Roberts to star is a stroke of genius as they will be fantastic together. It’s very exciting to work on such an original film.”
Roberts is repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment, Whitehall with CAA and United Agents. Hines and Christensen are repped by ICM Partners.
THR – The Disney-owned, younger-skewing cable network on Wednesday also unveiled an edgy new brand campaign during its second annual Summit in Los Angeles.Freeform on Wednesday announced plans to enter the animated space, unveiled an edgy new brand campaign and touted its upcoming slate during its second annual Summit in Los Angeles.
“At Freeform, our programming is meant to inspire, empower and celebrate the possibility of youth culture — we are in service to an audience that is paving the way and fighting for a more inclusive tomorrow and we are so honored to be representing them on and off screen,” said president Tom Ascheim.
The Disney-owned, younger-skewing cable network has put a pair of animated comedies — Betches from executive producer Emma Roberts (American Horror Story) and Woman World from executive producer Felicia Day — into development.
Betches is an irreverent series that follows three best friends and roommates as they navigate early adulthood in New York. Based on the multimedia brand of the same name, Rachel Koller will pen the script and exec produce alongside Betches Media co-founders Samantha Fishbein, Jordana Abraham and Aleen Kuperman. The potential series hails from Bunim-Murray Productions (The Real World) and exec producers Gil Goldschein, Carli Haney and Kesila Childers.
Freeform’s entry into the animation space comes as the genre has been on fire of late with Netflix, Hulu and Fox all aggressively adding new series. Animation, in success, has the potential to deliver billion-dollar franchises a la Family Guy and The Simpsons. What’s more, animated series including Rick and Morty and Bob’s Burgers remain powerhouses on streaming platforms. Netflix has gone so far as to launch its own animation studio so it no longer needs to outsource the costly process of creating the physical animation.
Emma Roberts, ‘This Is Us’ Star Justin Hartley & Glenn Howerton Join Damon Lindelof’s Thriller ‘The Hunt’
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Emma Roberts, Justin Hartley, and Glenn Howerton and have signed on for the Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse-penned politically charged action thriller The Hunt from Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions. Z for Zachariah helmer Craig Zobel, who previously collaborated with Lindelof and Cuse on HBO’s The Leftovers, is set to direct the film, which is being produced Jason Blum and Lindelof, under his White Rabbit banner. Cuse and Zobel will serve as executive producers.
The Hunt is slated hit theaters October 18 via Universal. No word on the film’s plot but we hear it explores escalating aggressiveness between the political right and left in America.
Universal execs Erik Baiers, Jay Polidoro, and Mika Pryce will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
Roberts is reprising her role as Madison Montgomery in the eighth season of FX’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse. On the film side, She most recently starred in Billionaire Boys Club, Little Italy, and Paradise Hills, which had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. She can be heard in STX’s upcoming family animation film, UglyDolls. Roberts is repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment.