'True Lies' Reboot From James Cameron in the Works at CBS

'True Lies'
Courtesy: Everett Collection

'True Lies'

CBS is the latest network to attempt to bring True Lies to television.

The broadcast network late Wednesday handed out a formal pilot order to a reboot of 1994 feature film starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Burn Notice's Matt Nix is attached to pen the script for the drama with the film's writer and director, James Cameron, set to exec produce the potential series. McG, who has been attached to previous attempts to reboot the 20th Century Fox film, is also set to direct the pilot and exec produce. Disney-owned 20th Television is the studio on the pilot.

McG's Wonderland Sound and Vision president Mary Viola and frequent Cameron collaborator Rae Sanchini of his Lightstorm Entertainment banner will also exec produce, with the latter having been credited in the same capacity on the movie.

The pilot has the same concept as the movie: Shocked to discover that her bland and unremarkable computer consultant husband is a skilled international spy, an unfulfilled suburban housewife is propelled into a life of danger and adventure when she’s recruited to work alongside him to save the world as they try to revitalize their passionless marriage.

This is the latest attempt to bring True Lies to television. Fox developed a take in 2017 with Arrow's Marc Guggenheim attached to pen the script. It never moved forward. McG in 2019 floated that a True Lies TV series was in the works for Disney+.

True Lies grossed $378.8 million worldwide (on a budget of $115 million). The action drama co-starring Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Eliza Dushku and Charlton Heston — itself a remake of a 1991 French comedy — earned Curtis a Golden Globe win for best actress.

The pilot also marks a rare off-network sale for Disney's 20th Television. The studio, acquired as part of the Fox deal a few years ago, has primarily focused on developing projects for the Disney portfolio, including Disney+, Hulu, ABC and Freeform. It's likely that the studio, now overseen by Karey Burke, considers True Lies to be off-brand for its central platforms and sought a revenue stream from a network like CBS.

For its part, CBS continues to lean hard into IP for originals. The network has updates of The Equalizer and a Silence of the Lambs sequel joining a slate that includes reboots of MacGyver, Magnum P.I. and SWAT. The ViacomCBS-backed broadcast network last year bid farewell to Hawaii Five-0 following a long and successful run.

True Lies is CBS' third drama pilot order this season. It joins 2020 holdovers Good Sam (starring Sophia Bush) and Ways and Means (with Patrick Dempsey).