Jeff Bridges has been working in Hollywood for more than 60 years, but he has never been a TV guy. Bridges became a movie star in his early 20’s with The Last Picture Show, but for an actor his age (69), it’s kind of shocking how rarely he has worked in television. Which makes today’s news that he’s going to star in the FX series The Old Man particularly exciting.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Thomas Perry, The Old Man centers on “Dan Chase” (Bridges), who absconded from the CIA decades ago and has been living off the grid ever since. When an assassin arrives and tries to take Chase out, the old operative learns that to ensure his future, he now must reconcile his past.
Written by Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine, The Old Man will be executive produced by both of them, as well as Warren Littlefield, Dan Shotz, David Schiff and Bridges. The series is being produced by Fox 21 Television Studios in association with The Littlefield Company, and the pilot is expected to start production this fall.
“Jeff Bridges is an iconic, extraordinary actor and to have him as the star of this series is an incredible moment for FX,” said Nick Grad, FX’s co-president of original programming, who also praised Steinberg and Levine’s pilot script, as well as his past experience working with Littlefield on Fargo.
Steinberg called Bridges “one of the most important actors of his generation” and said in a statement that “to call this a project a dream opportunity for us is almost certainly a gross understatement.” He also joked that “Littlefield has forgotten more about making great television than we will ever know.”
The Old Man serves as a reunion for Steinberg, Shotz and Levine, who are teaming back up after their four-season run making the Emmy-winning Black Sails for Starz. Black Sails was co-created and executive produced by Steinberg and Levine, and executive produced by Shotz. And while I’ve never seen an episode of Black Sails, Steinberg and Shotz recently signed an exclusive overall deal with Fox 21 for all TV development, signaling just how in demand these guys are right now.
Meanwhile, Littlefield is on a roll himself right night, as he’s an an executive producer on The Handmaid’s Tale, which won eight Emmys in its first year, and personally won him his third PGA Award. Littlefield also serves as executive producer on FX’s award-winning series Fargo, which will return for a fourth season that will be led by Chris Rock. Repped by WME, The Littlefield Company recently signed an exclusive deal with Fox 21 and 20th Century Fox Television for all TV development.
Bridges, of course, is beloved ’round these here parts thanks to his iconic turn as The Dude in The Big Lebowski, though I’ll always have a soft spot for his ’90s thrillers like Blown Away and The Vanishing. He also won an Oscar for his soulful performance in Crazy Heart, and most recently starred in Bad Times at the El Royale. Bridges is represented by CAA and MGMT Entertainment.