MIPTV: Morgan Spurlock Joins Forces With FremantleMedia for Brit-Themed 'Failure Club,' 'New Brittania'
The writer-director-producer spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about poking fun at the British, following celebrities for 24 hours and helping people achieve their dreams.
Morgan Spurlock will be serving a super-sized portion of British humor to global audiences with his witty and off-beat scrutiny of British society, Morgan Spurlock’s New Britannia, in a new first-look deal with FremantleMedia. Spurlock’s production company Warrior Poets signed with FME who will launch the Sky Atlantic HD original 10x60’ series in the UK on Monday.
The Super Size Me director is back taking on the British with his unique perspective of the British class system, the intricacies of their view of foreigners and the British attitude toward fame.
Yet sitting in the sun on Sunday in Cannes at MIPTV, Spurlock didn’t appear to be too concerned about any backlash from the British. “Maybe I’ll get kicked out of the country, I don’t know,” he said, adding: “That’s why I’m leaving Europe tomorrow.”
So why the Brits? “I’ve picked on Americans enough,” he said.
Spurlock heads across the country to discover and experience Britain’s traditions, institutions and behaviors first-hand. His adventures take him from a real-life Superhero on patrol to making Black Pudding in a Bury factory to sampling the newest speed-dating craze.
FME is also hoping for success for Failure Club.
The 12-episode hour-long series will see Spurlock meet with seven participants once a week for a year to help each other defy their fears and accomplish their ostensibly impossible goals.
“All of the TV networks were too scared to make this show. They said ‘You can’t possibly shoot people for a whole year.’ They wanted to know how the story would end and who would ‘win,’ but it’s not that kind of a show,” Spurlock said of the series that Yahoo took on.
FME has also snagged rights to Spurlock’s documentary series A Day in the Life that chronicles 24 hours in the lives of some of the world’s most intriguing personalities including billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, street artist Mr. Brainwash and Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am. The show began as a web series on Hulu and will now expand to TV platforms. Spurlock will remain on as producer for the show’s second season with Questo from The Roots and Das Racist among the celebrities unveiling their daily lives for the show.
The Spurlock deal comes after FME signed another first-look deal with Hulu for its originally commissioned programming.
“I love the random things that happen on this show. It’s smart and hilarious,” Spurlock said.
So what is a day in the life like for the ubiquitous writer-director-producer? “Very little sleep,” he confirmed, adding that his says consist of working at the office and finding time to spend with his five year-old son.
Spurlock is also branching out into fiction and has confirmed that his “very Erin Brockovich-y” project with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way has been greenlighted and will start shooting “somewhere on planet earth” this summer. “It’s about a little guy fighting against the big guy,” he said of his first foray into fiction, but remained mum on the details. “It will take place on earth and will star actors,” he said, but added that he does want to invest in more scripted projects in the future.
In the meantime, he’ll enjoy another day of Riviera sun before heading back across the Atlantic. His latest documentary Comic Con Episode 4 will open in US theaters on Thursday before a release across all digital platforms. However, Spurlock may indeed be back on French soil soon. “Why not for Season 3 of New Brittania? We can call it The New Francia,” he said, adding: “I will gladly make fun of the French. The hard part will be deciding where to start.”
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