12:00pm PT by Rick Porter
Sam Esmail, 'Palm Springs' Writer Team for UCP Crime Anthology
Following the record sale of feature Palm Springs at Sundance, the film's writer, Andy Siara, is teaming with Sam Esmail for an anthology project at Universal Content Productions.
Siara will write The Resort, a darkly comedic show about love and the weird things people do in the name of it, encased in an elaborate true-crime conspiracy. Each season of the planned anthology will be set in a different picturesque vacation destination.
UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, is producing with Esmail Corp. and Anonymous Content. The project will be shopped to streaming and premium platforms.
The first season is set at an all-inclusive resort along the Riviera Maya, where a couple on the brink of divorce inadvertently becomes embroiled in one of the Yucatan's most bizarre unsolved mysteries. The case is somehow a mix of metaphysical detective story, Indiana Jones-style adventure and coming-of-age romance.
Siara wrote Palm Springs, which broke the record price for a Sundance acquisition (by 69 cents) when Neon and Hulu bought it for $17,500,000.69. The film, directed by Max Barbakow, stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as two people stuck in a time loop, seemingly destined to attend a wedding over and over.
He's currently a co-producer on UCP and Esmail Corp's Angelyne, a limited series set for NBCU streaming platform Peacock. The series, based on a 2017 Hollywood Reporter story, stars Emmy Rossum (Shameless) as the L.A. icon. Rossum also executive produces via her Composition 8 production company alongside her husband, Esmail, and Chad Hamilton of Esmail Corp. Anonymous Content, THR, Allison Miller and director Lucy Tcherniak also exec produce. THR senior writer Gary Baum, who wrote the Angelyne article, is a consultant.
Siara also worked on AMC's Lodge 49 and was a member of indie rock band The Henry Clay People. He's repped by LBI Entertainment and Morris Yorn.
The Resort is the latest project for Esmail at UCP, where he has an overall deal. Esmail created USA's Mr. Robot and executive produces the cabler's Briarpatch, which debuted Feb. 6. He also directed and executive produced Amazon's Homecoming for the studio and is prepping a Battlestar Galactica reboot at Peacock.
UCP also produces USA's The Sinner, The Purge, Treadstone and Dirty John; Syfy's The Magicians and Resident Alien; and Netflix's Umbrella Academy, among other series.