Melville, a 15-minute film which debuted at SXSW 2015 that explores a man struggling with internal fears and the powerful, cathartic way he contends with them, is being developed as a TV series. Michael Strahan, host of Live With Kelly And Michael and a panelist on Fox NFL Sunday, has come aboard to executive produce the series with his producing partner Constance Schwartz at SMAC Entertainment and the original film’s writer-director James M Johnston, who will also pen the pilot. Red Entertainment’s Red Sanders and Derek Brown are also exec producing.
Melville, which world premiered in SXSW’s Texas Shorts Competition, centers on Marcus (Rodney Lucas) a distracted and quiet adult who spends his days withdrawn from life, lashing out at strangers and unable to sleep. When he runs into an old friend from his past, Marcus begins to reflect on his better days when he never had a problem expressing anything. The series will focus on Marcus, a man in his 30s, who resurrects his decade-old dream of becoming a hip-hop artist after being blindsided by a life-threatening disease. It will explore the surprising, unpredictable way in which the owner of a coffee shop in Fort Worth pushes past obstacles to become a rising star.
Red Entertainment most recently produced Orion Pictures’ sports move satire Balls Out featuring several SNL castmembers. Johnston along with partners Toby Halbrooks and David Lowrey co-run Sailor Bear Films, which produced Melville as well as the Sundance pics Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Listen Up Philip.
Johnston and SMAC Entertainment are repped by WME.