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Quibi is adding another reboot to its roster of originals — this one an update of cult 1990s movie Swimming With Sharks.
The shortform streamer has given a series order to a drama from Lionsgate based on George Huang’s 1994 film about a Hollywood assistant (Frank Whaley) who turns the tables on his abusive boss (Kevin Spacey). The new version will follow a young female assistant at the center of a studio filled with manipulators and schemers — none of whom know she’s poised to outwit them all.
Actress and writer Kathleen Robertson (Northern Rescue; Beverly Hills, 90210) is writing and producing the series. Tucker Gates (Homeland, The Morning Show) will direct. The two previously worked together on Bates Motel, where Gates directed Robertson in a pair of 2014 episodes.
“We’re thrilled to partner with our friend Jeffrey Katzenberg and the incredible team at Quibi,” Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs said Wednesday in a statement. “The series underscores our commitment to partnering with emerging platforms and expanding our valuable library properties like Swimming With Sharks into exciting new forms of storytelling.”
Chris Cowles (Blockers, Chappaquiddick) also will produce the series. Dana Brunetti and Liz Destro executive produce along with Jay Cohen and Stephen Israel, who executive produced the original film.
Robertson’s credits as a writer include Little Bee, an adaptation of Chris Cleave’s novel that’s set to star Julia Roberts; and The Possibilities, Kaui Hart Hemmings’ follow-up to The Descendants. She is repped by Untitled Entertainment, CAA, attorney Jamie Feldman and NCA Talent and Play Management in Canada. Gates is repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion. Cowles is repped by Craig Schneider at Pinnacle.
Quibi is scheduled to launch in April with a mix of scripted and unscripted original series, plus daily news and sports programming. Among the many high-profile names with projects set at the platform are Steven Soderbergh, Jennifer Lopez, Lena Waithe, Steven Spielberg, the Russo brothers, Idris Elba, Anna Kendrick, Trevor Noah, Zac Efron, the Farrelly brothers and Guillermo del Toro.
The streamer also has reboots of Varsity Blues, The Fugitive and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, plus the unscripted series Punk’d and Singled Out, on its slate of more than 50 original series.
Lionsgate TV’s lineup of series includes Netflix’s Dear White People and Orange Is the New Black; OWN’s Greenleaf; and Ambitions and Florida Girls on Pop TV. The studio is also developing a follow-up to its series Weeds for Starz.
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