EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of their movie Skyfall smashing worldwide box office records as the highest-grossing James Bond pic of all time and landing the franchise’s first Oscar nominations in 30 years, the film’s co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes are headed to Showtime. I’ve learned that the pay cable network, flying high on the critical success of original drama Homeland, has landed the duo’s high-concept drama project, which Logan and Mendes took out to premium cable networks in November as a spec written by Logan. Deals are still being finalized but I hear that the project is eyeing a straight-to-series order at Showtime, with Logan and Mendes executive producing with an eye for Mendes to direct. The untitled drama, which has undergone some tweaking from the original spec to tailor it to the Showtime audiences, is described as a psychological horror drama series with literary underpinnings, including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, set in the 1800s. This would mark both Logan and Mendes’ series debut. They are executive producing the show with Pippa Harris, Mendes’ partner at Neal Street Prods.
A couple of weeks ago, Skyfall became the first movie in the 50-year history of the James Bond franchise to cross the $1 billion worldwide box office mark. Tipped as a potential best picture contender, the movie missed out on the top category but landed five Oscar nominations yesterday, including best song for Adele’s Skyfall. Logan is far from done with Bond – he already has been tapped to write the next two installments, Bond 24 and 25. Meanwhile, Mendes was the first Oscar winner to direct a Bond pic with Skyfall.
Mendes and Logan share a stage background. Mendes was a top theater director and Logan an accomplished playwright before they segued to feature directing/writing. Logan has been nominated for three Oscars for co-writing Gladiator, and scripting Hugo and The Aviator. His work also includes Rango, Coriolanus, Sweeney Todd, The Last Samurai and Any Given Sunday, and he won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle awards for his play Red. Mendes won an Oscar for his feature directorial debut, American Beauty. His directing credits also include Revolutionary Road and Away We Go. Both are repped by CAA.