Less than 24 hours after NBC closed a deal for a TV series based on the 1989 Cameron Crowe movie Say Anything…, the project has been shelved by studio 20th Century Fox TV. The move comes after Crowe strongly objected to the series that he reportedly had been blindsided by. Both Crowe and the film’s star John Cusack took to Twitter to express their disapproval, with Crowe telling his followers that he was trying to kill the show.
20th TV focused on developing a Say Anything TV series, based on a title owned by its sister studio, earlier this season and brought in writer Justin Adler and producer Aaron Kaplan to develop the comedy as part of Adler’s blind script deal. I hear that after my story announcing the Say Anything series ran yesterday afternoon, Crowe called Kaplan to voice his objections. Realizing that Crowe did not know about the comedy series and was against it, Kaplan and Adler pulled out of the project, with 20th TV making the official decision to pull the plug this morning.
It is unclear exactly where communication broke down; sources close to the studio stress that 20th TV did reach out to Crowe and efforts were made to bring him in the loop, while sources close to the filmmaker are adamant that he had never heard of the series until yesterday.
Sources say that Crowe wouldn’t necessarily have been opposed to the idea as he had been open to revisiting his prior work, but he was taken aback by the fact that the project had been put together without his knowledge or input.
Legally, 20th TV could’ve proceeded with the series without Crowe’s consent, but the studio executive did not want to do it without his blessing as their intention all along had been to have his consent.
In the end, the disconnect made continuing with the project difficult for everybody, leading to the studio’s decision to kill it.
The 1989 movie, which marked Crowe’s directorial debut, chronicled the romance between average student Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) and valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye) during the summer after their high school graduation. Set in present day, the Say Anything series was to pick up up 10 years later. Lloyd has long since been dumped by Diane, and life hasn’t exactly turned out like he thought. But when Diane surprisingly returns home, Lloyd is inspired to “dare to be great” once again, get Diane back and reboot his life.
Last season, Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury spoke publicly against NBC’s plan to remake that classic series with a new character played by Octavia Spencer. While her comments did not have a direct impact on the network’s development of the project, it ultimately didn’t go forward.