Veteran producer Richard B. Lewis (August Rush, Backdraft, The Outer Limits) and his Southpaw Entertainment Group have three new projects in development at Universal Cable Productions, Deadline has learned. The first is a project about monsters and their creators, the second an adaptation of Nicola Moriarty’s breakthrough novel, The Fifth Letter, and the third, a half-hour comedic adaptation of Lars Von Trier’s, The Boss Of It All.
Lewis and Salem co-creator Adam Simon are teaming on the first untitled project, which centers on famous monsters and their creators with Robert Masello’s recent novel, The Jekyll Revelation and his upcoming Bram Stoker’s Night Crossing as launching pads. Written by Simon, the project follows real-life feminist icon Annie Besant as her investigations of infamous crimes in late Victorian London reveal a hidden underworld of real monsters and a secret society of famous authors who have ‘created’ them — revealing the secret truth about Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde, the Invisible Man and the hidden relationships between their famous creators – Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells. Simon and Lewis will executive produce.
For the second project, Lewis and UCP have acquired the rights to adapt Nicola Moriarty’s breakthrough novel, The Fifth Letter. The gifted younger sister of acclaimed novelist Liane Morality (Big Little Lies) has set a tale of four friends, five letters and one big secret. A girls trip turns wicked as old secrets are revealed, long-held grudges surface, shocking lies are exposed, and a shattering and dangerous betrayal is discovered in an anonymous hate-filled letter that one of them writes – shaking the foundation of their lives.
The third project is a half-hour comedic adaptation of Lars Von Trier comedy, The Boss Of It All, in which an insecure company president pretends that he answers to the company’s CEO, when in fact no such person exists. All the unpopular decisions he makes can be attributed to the absentee manager, while all the popular ones to him directly. When a prospective takeover agent insists on meeting the real boss, the president panics and hires a failed, out of work actor to portray the imaginary boss and chaos ensues. Lewis will executive produce the project, alongside Anders Kjærhauge and Paul Schwartzman of Zentropa Studios.
Lewis’ decades-long producing career includes a seven-year run on The Outer Limits and five seasons on Emmy-winning Fame L.A. and Poltergeist: The Legacy. The producer of such features as August Rush, Backdraft, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Blown Away most recently produced STX’s intergalactic love story The Space Between Us starring Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, and Britt Robertson, and the Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek comedy Some Kind of Beautiful. Lewis is repped by CAA and ROAR’S Jon Levin.