It’s hard to believe given that he recently became one of only three filmmakers in history to win back-to-back Best Director Oscars, but Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s next project is in a spot of trouble. Way back in 2014, when Iñárritu was finishing up Birdman and getting ready to start the arduous production of The Revenant, the Babel filmmaker set up a TV series at Starz with a straight-to-series 10-episode order. The show, titled The One Percent, was to star Hilary Swank and Ed Helms and would follow a broken Midwest family struggling to keep their farm from financial ruin, only to have a bizarre twist change their lives forever.
The insane filming schedule of The Revenant pushed the production of The One Percent back, and now Deadline reports that Starz has pulled out as the U.S. broadcaster of the series, putting it into turnaround. But the show’s not dead yet. MRC, which is producing the drama, remains committed to seeing this through, and while Helms has dropped out, Greg Kinnear has signed on as his replacement with Swank still set to co-star.
Apparently the production start delays are due to Iñárritu wanting to employ similar filming techniques used on The Revenant, such as shooting the entire 10-episode series in sequence and on location. He’s collaborating once more with three-time Oscar winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki to design a signature look for the series, which will be shot at a farm in the Midwest. Lubezki intends to direct the first episode to set the tone for the series, and he’s even brought along The Revenant production designer and frequent Terrence Malick collaborator Jack Fisk to craft the sets.
Regardless of Starz dropping out, MRC still plans on finally rolling cameras in the next few months, and one imagines Iñárritu won’t have too hard of a time finding a new broadcaster. Amazon and Netflix seem primed to pony up the big bucks, so for a project as pricey and prestige as this, they seem like likely fits. HBO could be an option, but that network wields a greater amount of creative control over its series that may rub Iñárritu the wrong way.
But speaking of HBO, apparently Ed Harris is looking into playing the patriarch of the family at the center of The One Percent if his Westworld schedule allows it. The show was created by Iñárritu, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Nicolás Giacobone, and Armando Bo, the same quartet who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Birdman, so that’s just another piece of the puzzle that makes this enticing for any network willing to pay for it.