NBC has given a script commitment plus penalty to The Italian Job, a drama series inspired by the classic 1969 film and its 2003 remake. The project hails from Paramount TV, whose sister movie studio was behind the original British caper starring Michael Caine and the hit 2003 film toplined by Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron.
Written/executive produced by Rob Weiss (HBO’s Entourage, Ballers) and Benjamin Brand (IFC’s Bollywood Hero) and executive produced by the 2003 movie’s producer Donald De Line, The Italian Job TV series is described as a noisy, sexy, thrill-ride that follows a make-shift family of expert criminals, who are forced out of retirement when an opportunity arises to get their beloved “patriarch” out of jail. At the core of this dysfunctional family is Charlie Croker — played by Caine and Wahlberg in the movies — a handsome and charming ex-con, who tried to go straight, but like the rest of his crew, can’t resist the adrenaline rush of the high-stakes heist world. The idea is for the series to preserve the action, humor, romance and picturesque international locales from the movies.
The 2003 feature, which co-starred Jason Statham, Edward Norton, Seth Green, Mos Def and Donald Sutherland, grossed $176 million on a $60 million budget.
The Italian Job joins a couple of other movie titles getting a series treatment this broadcast development season, along with S.W.A.T. at CBS and Behind Enemy Lines at Fox.
Three-years-old Paramount TV is coming off winning its first Emmy awards — five, including special class program — for its Fox musical Grease: Live. The company’s slate includes 8 on-air series, Nickelodeon’s School of Rock, nominated for best Children’s Program Emmy and currently in production on its second season; the upcoming Jack Ryan on Amazon, with Platinum Dunes and Skydance from Carlton Cuse starring John Krasinksi; Thirteen Reasons Why, based on the bestselling YA book by Jay Asher, directed by Tom McCarthy, written by Brian Yorkey and produced by Selena Gomez; and the Cary Fukunaga-directed Maniac at Netflix, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill — both at Netflix with Anonymous Content; Shooter at USA, starring Ryan Philippe and Omar Epps; Berlin Station at Epix, with Anonymous Content from Olen Steinhauer; The Alienist at TNT also with Anonymous Content from Cary Fukunaga, Eric Roth and Hossein Amini; and Bajillion Dollar Properie$ at NBCU’s digital streaming platform Seeso, in production on season two.
Brand is repped by WME, Aperture Entertainment and Morris Yorn Barnes.