'Gods' shine on Red Hour's TV foray


Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films is venturing into television with "Gods Behaving Badly."

Red Hour has optioned Marie Phillips' upcoming debut novel to develop it into a comedy series.

Phillips was working at a book shop and writing a StrugglingAuthor blog in her hometown of London until she sold "Gods," a contemporary comedic tale set in London, where the gods of ancient Greece have been living together in a house since the 1660s. They still are running the world, fighting with one another, but they are dangerously bored and living in much reduced circumstances. Apollo has turned a Goldman Sachs market trader into a tree after she refused casual sex with him. Aphrodite runs a telephone sex service.

" 'Gods Behaving Badly' has a rare comedic collision of the mythic, the mundane and the emotionally real," Red Hour partner Stuart Cornfeld said. "We are very excited about moving ahead with this."

The book, published in the U.K. to strong reviews, is being released Dec. 10 in the U.S. It was brought to Red Hour's Jeremy Kramer by "Kinsey" producer Gail Mutrux and will be produced in partnership with her production company, Pretty Pictures.

The search is under way for a writer to adapt "Gods" for the small screen.

UTA-repped Red Hour recently wrapped production on the feature comedy "Tropic Thunder" for DreamWorks, which Stiller is starring in and directing from a script he co-wrote. Red Hour also is producing the supernatural thriller "The Ruins," written by Scott Smith and directed by Carter Smith.