I hear Amazon Studios is in negotiations for The Last Tycoon, a drama project based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel. I hear the streaming service is close to buying the script, written by Captain Phillips scribe Billy Ray, with an eye toward a possible pilot order. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, was originally set up at HBO last fall after garnering interest from multiple outlets. I hear the script was released from the pay cable network, allowing the producers to shop it elsewhere.
Inspired by the life of film mogul Irving Thalberg, on whom protagonist Monroe Stahr was based, The Last Tycoon centers on Stahr, Hollywood’s first wunderkind studio executive in the 1930s as he climbs to the height of power pitting him against his mentor and current head of the studio Pat Brady, a character based on Louis B. Mayer. With Stahr as a focal point, the series delves into the true violence, sex and towering ambition of Hollywood in the ’30s.
Ray executive produces alongside Party Of Five co-creator Chris Keyser, who serves as showrunner, as well as Perri Kipperman, Josh Maurer, David Stern and Alix Witlin.
The Last Tycoon has had a big screen adaptation, the 1976 movie directed by Elia Kazan, written by Harold Pinter and starring Robert De Niro.
Sony TV was the first studio to embrace Amazon as an original programming player. It produced Zombieland, part of Amazon’s first batch of pilots.