6:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
Richard Madden Space Drama, Comedy From 'Gilmore Girls' Creator Among Amazon Pilot Slate
Amazon is set to kick off its latest pilot season March 17.
On Thursday, the streaming giant unveiled the latest projects that subscribers will be able to vote on, including the space drama Oasis starring Richard Madden and Hayley Joel Osment; The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino; and the dark comedy The Legend of Master Legend headlined by Winter's Bone star John Hawkes.
The other projects include the pot comedy Budding Prospects and the animated half-hour The New V.I.P.'s.
Per the company's model, the pilots will be available in Amazon's global territories including the U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan, and subject to customer reviews.
“Pilots continue to be the best way to take risks, find voices and evolve the art form of television,” said Joe Lewis, Amazon Studios' head of comedy, drama and virtual reality. “We’re excited about these new worlds, characters and filmmakers. We’re looking forward to another Amazon Pilot Season and more great customer feedback.”
Based on Michael Faber's cult novel The Book of Strange New Things, Oasis follows a chaplain (Madden) who is sent into space to help establish a colony on a distant planet. What he ends up discovering not only puts his faith to the test, but life as we know it. The pilot also stars world-renowned Indian actor and producer Anil Kapoor, Michael Shaw, Antje Traue, Mark Addy, Haley Joel Osment, Maureen Sebastian, Michael Shaffer and Zawe Ashton. Oasis is written by Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies), who will exec produce with Andy Harries (The Crown) and Lila Rawlings, produced by Rob Bullock (The Night Manager), with Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland) directing. The one-hour drama pilot is a co-production of Amazon Studios and Left Bank Productions.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel marks Sherman-Palladino's follow-up to Netflix's well-received Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival. The hour-long project is set in 1958 Manhattan when Miriam "Midge" Maisel's (Rachel Brosnahan) life as a wife and mother suddenly takes an unexpected turn and she discovers a previously unknown talent that will change her life forever. She subsequently moves beyond her comfortable life on the Upper West Side to storm the world of stand-up comedy – a route that will ultimately lead her to Johnny Carson's couch. Michael Zegen, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle also star, with Daniel Palladino (Gilmore Girls) attached as exec producer.
In the half-hour space, The Legend of Master Legend is described as a dark comedy about the life of Frank Lafount, aka Master Legend — a homemade superhero whose mission is to protect the people of Las Vegas from evil doers. Master Legend juggles the demands of justice with the even more complicated demands of his real family, who don’t see him as a hero at all. John Hawkes, Dawnn Lewis, Shea Whigham and newcomer Anjelika Washington headline the comedy, which hails from Transparent writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. The two exec produce with Youree Henley (20th Century Women), Joshuah Bearman (Argo) and David Klawans (Argo). The pilot is directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now).
Budding Prospects kicks off in 1983 when three city boys move from the cushy San Francisco counter-culture to Mendocino to grow marijuana. Their expectations of the nurturing and rustic experience run up against the harsh truth prior to their arrival at "The Summer Camp" – a miserably run-down shanty out in the middle of nowhere complete with rats, snakes, noisy neighbors, dangerous locals and menacing law enforcement. Adam Rose, Joel David Moore, Will Sasso and Brett Gelman star. Bad Santa's Terry Zwigoff directed the pilot and will exec produce with Vincent Landay (Her) and co-writer Melissa Axelrod.
Described as Amazon's first half-hour animated comedy, The New V.I.P.'s follows a group of low-level employees who seize control of a major corporation after accidently murdering their boss. Matt Braunger, Ben Schwartz, Missi Pyle and Jonathan Adams voice the characters. The series hails from Steve Dildarian (The Life & Times of Tim).
Although Amazon has continued with its pilot process for several years, most recently picking up I Love Dick and a remake of The Tick to series, the company has also strayed from its unique business model. David E. Kelley's legal drama Goliath, and Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes both bypassed the pilot process and earned straight-to-series orders, with the former winning a Golden Globe for star Billy Bob Thornton and receiving a season-two pickup.
If ultimately ordered to series, the projects will join a slate that also includes Bosch, Transparent, The Man in a High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, Red Oaks, Sneaky Pete, One Mississippi, Patriot and Z: The Beginning of Everything.