EXCLUSIVE: In a preemptive buy, Fox has given a pilot production commitment to Greatest American Hero, a single-camera comedy inspired by Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic. It hails from Dope writer-director Rick Famuyiwa, Phil Lord & Chris Miller– the directing duo behind the successful feature franchise based on another ’80s TV series by Cannell, 21 Jump Street — and Cannell’s daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan. 20th Century Fox TV, where Lord and Miller are under an overall deal, is the studio.
Written and to be directed by Famuyiwa, Greatest American Hero is the story of what happens when great power is not met with great responsibility. An ordinary man, completely content with being average, wakes up with a superpower suit he never asked for and has to deal with the complications it brings his life.
Miller, Lord and McKiernan executive produce with Lord Miller’s President of Television, Seth Cohen. Fox and 20th TV are bullish on the title with a second stab at rebooting it, hiring a casting director to start working on finding the lead.
Lord, Miller and McKiernan also were behind last year’s Fox/20th TV Greatest American Hero remake with a different writer, Rodney Rothman, which had a put pilot commitment.
The original sci-fi dramedy series, created by TV legend Cannell and starring William Katt and Robert Culp, aired for three seasons on ABC. Here is a montage to the show’s theme song, “Believe It Or Not,” which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 100 in 1981:
Famuyiwa’s dramedy feature Dope was a breakout at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He recently directed Confirmation, HBO Films’ upcoming movie starring Scandal leading lady Kerry Washington as Anita Hill. He is repped by WME, Oasis Media Group and Del Shaw.
For The Last Man On Earth executive producers Lord and Miller, Greatest American Hero joins In Time, a time-travel comedy written by Julius Sharpe, which has a put pilot commitment at Fox. Additionally, they recently optioned the rights to podcast phenomenon Serial to develop as a TV series through 20th TV’s cable division Fox 21 TV Studios. They also have animated pilot Son Of Zorn starring Jason Sudeikis in contention for a series pickup at Fox.
Lord and Miller, who have 3 movie franchises on their resume, The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and are directing the Han Solo Star Wars movie, are repped by UTA and Matthew Johnson.
McKiernan is repped by APA and Andrea Simon Entertainment.