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‘Say Anything’ Series Not Going Forward After Cameron Crowe Objection

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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.

"We Bought A Zoo" Premiere - Outside Arrivals20th 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.

Related: ‘Say Anything’ Follow-Up Series In The Works At NBC

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.

say-anythingIn 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.

Related: NBC’s ‘Murder She Wrote’ Reboot Not Going Forward, Could Be Revisited In The Future

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.

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29 Comments

  1. Is There Anybody Out There?on Oct 7, 2014 1:42 pm

    Cameron needs to protect his legacy now that he’s no longer making films anyone watches.

    • Writeron Oct 7, 2014 2:09 pm

      Yeah, what a loser. He only made three or four classic, beloved movies.

    • Walteron Oct 7, 2014 2:26 pm

      Exactly. How many people even remember his name, let alone his movies?

    • Wickedon Oct 8, 2014 3:54 am

      Yeah, it’s like we kind of know who he is, like he’s almost famous, but not quite. Most married couples and some singles don’t even recognize his name. I think his protest was misguided, like he’ll say anything for attention. Though, I guess it’s nice to hear that the studio had a change of heart.

    • Martinon Oct 8, 2014 6:52 am

      He made two decent music docs recently and has a project with Emma Stone on the way that I am looking foward to. Plus, a Showtime series. I’m sure he’ll have audiences again.

      “We Bought a Zoo” while not up to expectations was a decent movie so to write him off now is very pre-mature.

      As for the television show adaptation, I have to admit I didn’t like the sound of it on the surface. It occurs to me that “Singles” might make for a better movie to sitcom adaptation, and even mentioned before “We Bought a Zoo” has got sitcom possibilities that might be interesting.

      As a fan of Crowe, I’m glad the show isn’t going forward without his involvement. I feel badly for folks who did honest work on it to see it come to an untimely demise because of poor handling by the studio execs.

      It is an illustration of how fast the cycle is compared to say even 10 years ago for something to backfire. Maybe it doesn’t hurt as bad now that it takes only 24 Hours for a bad decision to live and die.

      -M

      #blackhatsB4blackhat

  2. handsomesmittyon Oct 7, 2014 1:44 pm

    Wow, all those jobs kills because of a couple ‘artists’ are afraid their original work won’t stand up. If the movie was that good, good enough to inspire a series, they should feel a little pride, instead of being prideful. More than likely they were left out of being dealt a cut, or not happy with the cut of the show they were offered.

    Hollywood can be so silly sometimes…. It’s hard to tell if it’s about artistic ego or money that drives the business.

    • Personon Oct 7, 2014 2:10 pm

      No jobs were killed, dummy. It was a deal for a pilot script.

    • Guyon Oct 7, 2014 2:12 pm

      You do know that it’s also an artform, and that a balance has to be found between the two, right? Have a little respect for the artist. Just a little.

  3. Joelon Oct 7, 2014 1:49 pm

    Doing a reboot or remake without the original creator’s consent or approval seems wrong. He shouldn’t have learned about it from an announcement.

  4. Corey Floodon Oct 7, 2014 1:53 pm

    This is BS! Joe lies.

  5. Sorry Guyson Oct 7, 2014 2:06 pm

    Kaplan should be happy. It usually takes until the 3rd episode for his shows to ‘not go forward.’

  6. Guyon Oct 7, 2014 2:14 pm

    If I remember correctly, Lloyd’s future was already mused by Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank and then War, Inc.

  7. Ben the idioton Oct 7, 2014 2:19 pm

    Studio executives… The rats are still around

  8. Fighter Piloton Oct 7, 2014 2:32 pm

    Wonder if he’d object to a Vanilla Sky or Elizabethtown series?

    • Mush Mouthon Oct 7, 2014 3:42 pm

      Or We Bought a Zoo!

  9. fogdk@yahoo.comon Oct 7, 2014 2:38 pm

    Perhaps Fox and Universal wanted to still do business with Crowe in the future? LOL

  10. Michaelon Oct 7, 2014 3:07 pm

    Good. You know a better way to have handled this was to go “Hey Cameron, is there any of your cult classic movies from the late 80’s you would like to see remade into a modern TV series?” and do that first.

  11. Anonymouson Oct 7, 2014 3:30 pm

    I’m glad this occurred. The idea of turning a pretty good movie into a mediocre sit-com doesn’t seem right. Sit-coms seem to work with original ideas.

  12. Say Nothingon Oct 7, 2014 3:36 pm

    I’d rather see a movie sequel with Crowe writing and directing and Cusack and Skye starring. That would be interesting to see them again after 25 years. It’s why Twin Peaks will work with the creators and Kyle M returning as Dale Cooper.

  13. Who Gets Fired?on Oct 7, 2014 4:19 pm

    Someone should get fired for this fiasco. It has to be a senior exec at FOX. I believe Cameron when he said nobody ever talked to him about this. They just assumed he’d be happy with it and they decided to keep him out of the loop. Good executive work there. Serves them right to have it backfire on them in such a public way.

  14. Dwayne Fishbone Richardsonon Oct 7, 2014 5:33 pm

    Dear NBC/Universal,
    On behalf of all the fans of that great film, thank you for not reaming my childhood memories.
    Here, I want you to have this pen…

  15. American TV Audienceon Oct 7, 2014 6:12 pm

    Dear NBC,

    You must now move forward on your sit-com adaptation of Schindler’s List. Spielberg won’t object he will be very excited and happy so just announce it and Steven will give you his approval after he sees how popular the announcement is.

    I know you think a sit-com version of Schindler’s List won’t work and it would be in very bad taste. Well that is where you are wrong. People said the same thing about Hogan’s Heroes in the 1960’s but it was very popular and ran for six years.

    Schindler’s List starring Garry Shandling as Oskar Schindler is a slam dunk smash.

    Sincerely,

    Your Viewers

  16. Alteschuleron Oct 7, 2014 7:20 pm

    Great. Now they need to cancel the other 50 or so upcoming TV shows based on old movies.

    • joshreaderon Oct 8, 2014 8:35 am

      But then there will be nothing on TV but reality shows and sport!

  17. Anonymouson Oct 7, 2014 8:38 pm

    NBC owes Cameron an apology he is a great artist!!

  18. jfon Oct 8, 2014 8:28 am

    Maybe it’s just me but… there goes a lot of needed jobs. Did Cameron or Cusack think of that?

    • JCon Oct 8, 2014 11:19 am

      It was a script commitment, not a pilot or series order. The only jobs lost were Adler’s and Kaplan’s. And since this was not their only source of income, they’ll be just fine.

  19. Cassie Bailoron Oct 8, 2014 9:41 pm

    “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.” Ok, if this is true than why didn’t they know they had consent and involve him creatively? If the studio had intended to do this than the executive is at fault, but I find it difficult to believe that higher ups didn’t make that decision to not involve him and then scrambled when he made a stink. Anyone know who the studio exec is?