EXCLUSIVE: Feature director Roland Emmerich is set to direct and executive produce New Angeles, a TV series from Slingshot Global Media, the Los Angeles-based company launched in February by former FremantleMedia topper David Ellender. Keanu Reeves and Stephen Hamel of Company Films brought the project to Emmerich’s Centropolis and will executive produce alongside Emmerich. Best-selling novelist and comic book writer Gregg Hurwitz will write the project and also executive produce. “Gregg is an incredibly imaginative writer, and I’m looking forward to bringing his ideas for the show to life,” Emmerich said. “It’s exciting to get the opportunity bring a massive project like this to the small screen within a rapidly changing television space.”
Set in the future, the series centers on a young man who escapes the mundane reality of his life by entering an exciting virtual reality world called New Angeles. Once down the rabbit hole, he adopts a new identity, becoming the man he was always destined to be, and in the process, unlocking the keys to a mystery that has real-world consequences for him and his family. “We’re thrilled to have Roland and Keanu on board for a project of this magnitude,” said Ellender. “Roland’s masterful vision for this is extraordinary and Keanu’s action work behind and in front of the camera speaks for itself.”
Emmerich will direct the pilot and executive produce the series. Kirstin Winkler and Aaron Boyd of Centropolis will serve as co-executive producers. Slingshot Global Media will produce and distribute the drama. The company, which has financial backing from private investment firm TPG Growth, is focused on producing series and limited-run programming for the U.S. and global broadcast, cable and on-demand marketplace, working closely with talent to develop its projects. It recently teamed with Reeves on its first series, Rain, based on the best-selling book series by Barry Eisler, which Reeves is set to star in and executive produce.
Known for his big-budget, action films such as Independence Day, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow, Emmerich is in postproduction on Stonewall, a film about the historic riots that took place on the streets of New York City in 1969. Reeves recently completed production on the action film John Wick opposite Willem Dafoe, and The Whole Truth opposite Renee Zellweger.