Fox has put in development Through My Eyes, a horror/thriller drama written/executive produced by former Fringe showrunner Joel Wyman and executive produced by Lawrence Bender and Kevin Brown of Bender Brown Prods. The project, from Fox 21 TV Studios, is based on the 2013 Russian series of the same name (original title Моими Глазами). In it, the story unfolds though the direct POV of a different character each episode. Also executive producing the adaptation is Zaur Bolotaev, co-creator/director of the original series, and Alex Reznik of East 2 West Entertainment, who has signed a first-look deal with Fox 21.
The original series, which ran on TNT for one season, was compared by Russian media to Twin Peaks. It followed the investigation of the mysterious death of a school girl. Each episode is told through the eyes of a different character. To achieve maximum authenticity, the actual actors filmed the vast majority of the footage, with the one whose point of view is showcased in the episode wearing a helmet with a 13-pound camera mounted on it. The ambitious drama was one of the most expensive scripted series comissioned by a Russian network. (you can watch a trailer below)
Through My Eyes, which had multiple networks interested, features supernatural elements, which is familiar territory for Fringe alum Wyman who also created the genre Fox drama series Almost Human. It hasn’t been determined yet whether the US adaptation would employ the same video-game-like style of actors filming their episodes themselves.
The Through My Eyes format was brought to Reznik by Bolotaev and his partner Aleksey Ageyev, who will serve as consultant on the project. Reznik specializes in bringing Eastern European formats to the US and previously executive produced Million Dollar Mind Game, ABC’s version of classic Russian game show Who? Where? When? Reznik took the idea to Brown and Bender with whom he had worked on an unscripted project. Though Bender and Brown’s first-look deal with then-Fox TV Studios, the project was based there in 2014. Through My Eyes’ original setup at FtvS, which produced both for cable and network, explains the fact that it comes from cable-focused Fox 21 TV Studios, created by the merger of Fox 21 and FtvS, and not mothership 20th Century Fox TV which handles series for Fox.
Wyman was brought in to write the adaptation in early 2015. He had an existing relationship with Bender having written one of the movies Bender has produced, the 2001 Brad Pitt-Julia Roberts starrer The
Mexican. (Three-time Oscar nominee Bender’s feature producing credits also include Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds.) Wyman has been expressing his enthusiasm for the project on Twitter, writing, “I am very excited to say I am working with Fox on something that I love” in August, following a series of teaser images he posted in July (on right).
Bender and Brown also executive produce Starz’s ballet-themed limited series Flesh and Bone.
Here is the Моими Глазами trailer; the Russian captions tease the series’ Jan. 27 debut, touting in a promo-style that with that, “Everything Will Change.”