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Jeffrey Katzenberg’s shortform outlet has put into development a modern take on the 1999 James Van Der Beek feature film Varsity Blues.
Tripper Clancy — who penned the feature Stuber, which bows Friday — is attached to write the new take on the film about a high school football team and their battles with a demanding coach.
Mike Tollin and Tova Laiter — who produced the original pic — are on board to executive produce the Quibi series. Tollin will exec produce alongside John Gatins and Peter Guber. The project hails from Tollin and Guber’s MSM and Paramount Television. The latter’s Paramount Pictures produced the original Varsity Blues.
“For all those who cheered Mox’s refrain, ‘I don’t want your life,’ as well as all those who never heard of the West Canaan Coyotes, we’re thrilled to bring Varsity Blues to Quibi and into the 21st century!” Tollin said Thursday in a statement.
This is the latest attempt to remake Varsity Blues for TV. Viacom-owned CMT was developing a new take on the title back in 2016. That project, which was penned by the film’s original writer — W. Peter Iliff — did not move forward as CMT exited the scripted space not long afterward.
The original movie starred Dawson’s Creek grad Van Der Beek as Jonathan Moxon, a backup quarterback who takes over a team of misfits against an abusive coach — and his father, who only seems to care about football.
Distributed by Paramount, the film grossed $54.3 million on a budget of $16 million, with Van Der Beek’s “I don’t want your life” scene remaining a popular meme.
The order for Varsity Blues comes amid a busy week of news for Quibi, which also added a musical starring Darren Criss and a reboot of The Fugitive, among others. (Click here for a guide to all of Quibi’s programming so far.)
Quibi is poised to launch next spring.
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