Starz is teaming up with screenwriter Rod Lurie (The Contender) and Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment for the post-Civil War drama Monsters of God. Starz has really stepped up to the table with premium competitors HBO and Showtime in creating worthwhile original entertainment, such as Magic City and Da Vinci’s Demons as well as the one that kicked it all off: Spartacus. It’s upcoming collaborations with The Departed‘s William Monahan as well as a series about the Vietnam War, Airborne, also sound very promising.
Monsters of God will take place in 1867 Texas during the Comanche Wars, a period of American history Lurie has spent a long time studying. Also, as a West Point graduate and former Army artillery officer, he certainly has the background to pen such a work. Hit the jump for more on the project and what else Starz has coming down the pike.
The Comanche Wars are known to be one of the bloodiest chapters in American History, and hopefully Lurie’s study of the period will help create compelling Native American characters, who are so often still portrayed in Wild West stereotypes (although speaking of the Wild West, the Comanche tribe were known as fearsome warriors, warring on other Native American tribes like the Apaches as well).
Monsters of God will focus on two men — the “war-hungry colonel and his seemingly by-the-book executive officer” — who will struggle both with the troops they command and their own personal challenges. In some ways it shares vague similarities to AMC’s post-Civil War Western Hell on Wheels, which also dealt with tribal raids, but Monsters of God seems to have a much more narrow focus.
Starz also has another period drama coming from Piers Morgan, as well as a limited series called The White Queen with Janet McTeer. Spartacus‘ Steve S. DeKnight is developing a sci-fi action series, as well as a potential Spartacus spinoff. Starz is certainly going all-in to the scripted TV race, and the results definitely seem worth checking out.
Here’s the press release for Monsters of God:
STARZ TO DEVELOP NEW ORIGINAL DRAMA SERIES
FROM Award-winning Writer, Director and Producer Rod Lurie “MONSTERS OF GOD”
TO BE PRODUCED BY PLAN B ENTERTAINMENT
Beverly Hills, Calif. – June 12, 2013 – Starz announced today that it will develop a post civil-war drama series from award winning writer, director and producer Rod Lurie (The Contender, The Last Castle, Straw Dogs) in conjunction with Plan B Entertainment. Lurie and his long-time producing partner Marc Frydman will executive produce via their Battleplan Productions banner. Set in Texas in 1867, during the Comanche Wars, “Monsters of God” follows two powerful ex-cavalry men, a war-hungry Colonel, and his seemingly by-the-book executive officer as they struggle to maintain order over the men in their command, faced with the challenges of an uncivilized territory and their own inner demons.
“‘Monsters of God’ will be set against the backdrop of a one of most savage times in our nation’s history, the Comanche Wars, centered on two men faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz.
“We could not be more thrilled to team up with Rod Lurie, who not only conducted extensive research but has an incredible track record for bringing political and psychological thrillers to life in a way that we think our viewers will find compelling.”
Executive Producer and writer Rod Lurie said, “If you want to make a series that is big, ballsy and epic, you go to Starz. I am hoping that the show will have enormous scope, but never at the expense of historical accuracy. My fellow producers and I can’t wait to take a shot at this.”
Lurie, a West Point graduate and former artillery officer in the Army, spent years studying the Comanche Wars during his time in the service. His previous work includes the award winning political thriller, The Contender, starring Jeff Bridges, Gary Oldman and Joan Allen and the military-themed feature, The Last Castle, with Robert Redford and James Gandolfini. He also directed Straw Dogs, starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard. Prior to writing his first feature film, he served as a film critic. Marc Frydman, Lurie’s long-time producing partner for Battleplan Productions, will also serve as an Executive Producer. Lurie is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content, and Nelson Davis Wetzstein. Plan B is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.