TNT has given a pilot order to Rod Lurie’s post-Civil War drama Monsters of God, from Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. The project originally was set up for development at Starz three years ago. About a year ago, Monsters of God was put in turnaround and taken to TNT. The script by Lurie has been in development at the basic cable network ever since, leading to the pilot pickup.
In Monsters of God, savagery and violence are the cornerstones of Colonel “Terrible” Bill Lancaster’s holy war against the Comanche in post-Civil War Texas. Despite the peaceful co-existence between the Comanche and local townspeople, Lancaster sets out on a quest to kill off every single member of the tribe, bringing chaos to the town of Slater. Meanwhile, his wife, Cynthia Lancaster, will let no one get in the way of her obsessive quest to institute her feminist ideals, even if she has to challenge the United States Army and make her own allegiance with the Comanche women. Whether by force or free will, change is coming to Texas, and the escalating insanity will reveal humanity at its most monstrous.
Lurie will direct the pilot, which he executive produces with his partner at Battle Plan Productions, Marc Frydman, and Plan B’s DeDe Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Sarah Esberg.
A West Point graduate, Lurie served as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army before moving into the entertainment industry first as a reporter, then as a writer and director. While serving in the Army, Lurie spent a great deal of time and energy studying the Comanche Wars, which serve as the historical backdrop for Monsters of God.
Monsters of God is part of the new edgier direction that TNT kicked off with this year’s new series Animal Kingdom, which has been renewed for a second season, and the upcoming Good Behavior. Monsters of God joins TNT’s other pilots, Civil, starring Bradley Whitford, Toby Jones, Courtney B. Vance and Enrique Murciano, a gripping political and social drama that finds America on the brink of a modern-day Civil War, and Claws, starring Niecy Nash, Harold Perrineau and Jenn Lyon, a dramedy set in a Florida nail salon.
“We’re creating premium shows that are also unapologetically entertaining,” said Sarah Aubrey, EVP of original programming for TNT. “Monsters of God is our version of a western chock-full of violence, sex and insane characters.”
Lurie recently directed National Geographic’s Killing Reagan.