AMC Developing Western HELL ON WHEELS, Sics THE X-FILES’ Michelle MacLaren on THE WALKING DEAD

     July 6, 2010

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AMC has begun development on a pilot entitled Hell on Wheels, which is not, as it may first sound, a play for the Sons of Anarchy audience.  Rather, THR reports that Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster) have created “a contemporary western that centers on the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.”  Of course, since the setting is post-Civil War America, I assume “contemporary” indicates a modern sensibility in depicting this particular historical fiction.  Notably, this isn’t AMC’s first time at the rodeo: before the dawn of Mad Men, the cable network cleaned up at the Emmys with the western Broken Trail, including a win for Outstanding Miniseries.

Hit the jump for details on the lady who may take the reins of the zombie series The Walking Dead when creator Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) needs a break.

walking_dead_amc_tv_walker_zombie_image_04With the concise order of six episodes for the first season, I was kinda hoping that Darabont could mimic the British model, and write/direct each installment.  But if that’s not realistic on this side of the Atlantic, the undead have been placed in capable hands.

Arrow in the Head hears that Michelle MacLaren will direct an episode of Dead.  MacLaren spent some time on The X-Files as producer, and directed a season nine episode.  Recently, she joined the AMC family as director of four Breaking Bad episodes, including season three highlight “One Minute.”  If you’ve seen the episode, you remember the final scene, which took place in a parking lot.  I won’t spoil it for those who aren’t caught up, but in hindsight it’s fantastic how great a precursor that scene is for work on a zombie show.

Before The Walking Dead premieres in October, AMC will premiere conspiracy thriller Rubicon on August 1, 2010 after a recent sneak preview of the pilot.  Also in the pipeline is a pilot for The Wreck, a southern college football series with The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock on board as producer.

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