ABC is taking a second stab at Irreversible, casting Justin Long as the male lead. The network originally piloted the single-camera project executive produced by Peter Tolan last season, with David Schwimmer starring. Irreversible, which is partially improvised in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm, centers on Andy (Long) and Sarah, a somewhat eccentric, self-absorbed couple, and their trials and tribulations — most of which they bring upon themselves. Sony Pictures TV is the studio.
ABC has been high on the project, based on an Israeli format, from the get-go. In a bidding situation, the network nabbed Irreversible in August 2013 with a rare pilot greenlight off a pitch and a big, seven-figure penalty attached. Schwimmer was cast first. Finding a female lead proved difficult, with British actress Jessica Knappett landing the part after an extensive casting process as the pilot had a deadline to start filming, but the chemistry left something to be desired. Still, the pilot had fans inside ABC. It did not make the cut but the network’s executives remained bullish on the concept and indicated they are open to re-piloting with the right leads. With Long on board, the order hinges on finding an actress to star opposite him.
The original series’ co-creator Segahl Avin co-wrote the adaptation and is executive producing with Fedora’s Tolan and Michael Wimer and Reshet TV, the Israeli broadcaster behind the Israeli series, Bilti Hafich.
Last season, Long starred opposite Nick Frost in the Fox comedy pilot Sober Companion, which was in serious contention for a series pickup but the network ended up passing on all of its half-hour pilots. He has done arcs on New Girl and Mom. Long is repped by Gersh.