Sep 17, 2012

Tradecraft: Fox Tries Spies Again

After ordering two spy pilots this past season (The Asset and one from Karyn Usher that never got a title) and then failing to book either one to series, Deadline reports that Fox is trying again to get a spy show on their schedule. They seem pretty determined, as they've ordered three spy pilots in the past week! Hopefully one sticks. The first order is for Anonymous, which is described as a "character-driven action dramady" and comes from Emmy-winning character-driven dramady specialist Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and action veteran Simon Kinberg. Anonymous "follows a rebellious, hot-shot wunderkind who is plucked as the CIA’s latest recruit and teamed with a seasoned handler with whom he forms an unlikely father-son relationship." The last network spy dramady about a hotshot wunderkind plucked as the CIA's latest recruit was CHAOS, and that one didn't work out so well. But with Katims and Kinberg, this one at least has the DNA to succeed. (Then again, so did that one.) Kinberg's most recent spy movie, This Means War (review here), may have been a misstep, but his genre debut, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (written while he was still in college), was a very impressive script in a surprisingly difficult hybrid genre, the action romcom. (Try writing one if you don't believe me!) For that alone, I'll always be interested n his projects. Kinberg's extensive spy resume also includes xXx: State of the UnionKnight and Day (as a script doctor), X-Men: First Class (as a producer), the Robert Ludlum remake The Osterman Weekend and a TV version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith that never aired. He will serve as executive producer on Anonymous along with Katims, who will write the pilot. According to the trade blog, Katims "expressed interest in the CIA arena, which he had never tackled before." He was introduced to Kinberg, and teamed up with him because of his expertise in the genre.

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