RESIDENT EVIL Director Paul W.S. Anderson Heads to Television with Found Footage Series THE REEL

     November 29, 2011

If the over-the-top, off-the-wall big screen action of director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, The Three Musketeers 3D) wasn’t enough to quench your thirst for the filmmaker’s “unique” talents, an announcement from the independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) just might be some good news on this day. In a press release from the studio, it’s been revealed that Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt are developing a new one-hour psychological thriller series called The Reel from first-time writer Adam D’Alba. The project isn’t set up at a network yet, so it will probably be fighting for a spot next year when networks start lining up their fall schedules, but the series follows a recent trend in films with the found footage angle following a young documentarian searches for evidence of the supernatural.  His first case concerns the mysterious last days of two teenagers and a serial killer, known as the Mirror Mask Killer, who uses various forms of psychological torment to exact bloody vengeance on its victims. More after the jump.

paul_ws-andersonThe series sounds like it’s going to be a lot like the various crime procedurals on TV with a new case every week, however, there will be a season long mystery to give it a serial element as well. Since this comes from a first-time writer, it’s hard to tell how this will turn out, especially with someone like Anderson on board as well. In the press release below, it’s cute that they mention D’Alba’s efforts to write his own episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark in the fourth grade, but I don’t include the story about a haunted tornado in third grade (yep, it’s a real story I wrote) on my current job applications, so I’m not sure how to take that. The real question is whether the found footage gimmick can last a whole season on TV since just an hour and a half film spent in that style of storytelling can become trying from time to time.

Here’s the full press release:

TORONTO/LOS ANGELES – Nov. 29, 2011 Leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) has joined forces with the dynamic and innovative team of Paul WS Anderson and Jeremy Bolt to develop a new one-hour psychological thriller series for television, THE REEL.  The series spec was brought to eOne by talented first-time writer, Adam D’Alba.

In this “found footage” series, a young documentarian searches for evidence of the supernatural.  His first case concerns the mysterious last days of two teenagers and a serial killer, known as the Mirror Mask Killer, who uses various forms of psychological torment to exact bloody vengeance on its victims.  THE REEL combines supernatural shocks in a case-per-week format that leads viewers through a season long mystery.

“Adam D’Alba’s vision for the show and the opportunity to partner with Anderson and Bolt, made it impossible not to jump on board this project” said Noreen Halpern, President Dramatic Programming, eOne Television. “We’re thrilled to be involved with THE REEL; it’s exactly the kind of strong, creative and compelling material we look for.”

Marking THE REEL as his first television project, the series is created and written by Adam D’Alba who has written in the horror genre since the fourth grade when he staged an adaptation of an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark.  THE REEL is Executive Produced by Paul WS Anderson and Jeremy Bolt who successfully collaborated on previous films such as the box-office hit Resident Evil franchise including its newest installment Resident Evil 5 which is currently in production as well as the horror cult favorite, Event Horizon starring Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill.  eOne’s John Morayniss (The Firm, Hung), Noreen Halpern (Rookie Blue, Call Me Fitz) and Michael Rosenberg (Hung, The Riches) will also serve as Executive Producers.

“When we read Adam’s script we were genuinely disturbed by the story and fascinated by the idea of a found footage TV show,” said Paul WS Anderson and Jeremy Bolt. “We are very grateful to the innovative eOne team for turning the idea into a reality.”

Entertainment One has a strong presence in production and distribution of television programming, with nine television series currently airing on primetime cable and broadcast networks including the highly-acclaimed The Walking Dead on AMC, Hung on HBO, audience-favorite Rookie Blue on ABC, preschool-phenom Peppa Pig on Nick Jr., Call Me Fitz starring Jason Priestley for DirecTV, Haven for Syfy, the recently premiered Hell on Wheels for AMC, which debuted with the second-highest ratings in the network’s history and stars Anson Mount and Common, as well as the highly-anticipated The Firm for NBC, starring Josh Lucas and Juliette Lewis, set to air January 8th, 2011.

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