Netflix is finalizing negotiations with Fox 21 TV Studios for Seven Seconds, a 10-episode drama series that reflects the current racial tensions in America. The project hails from The Killing creator Veena Sud, with Gavin O’Connor, helmer of last weekend’s No. 1 movie The Accountant, attached to direct.
In Seven Seconds, written by Sud, tensions run high between African American citizens and Caucasian cops in Jersey City, where a teenage African American boy is critically injured by a cop. Sud executive produces with O’Connor, Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and Alex Reznik.
The series is based on the 2013 Russian action movie The Major (Майор), written, directed by and starring Yuri Bykov and produced by Rock Films. It chronicles the aftermath of a Police Major accidentally running over a child and the coverup of the homicide. (watch a trailer with subtitles below)
Negotiations on Seven Seconds’ 10-episode order have been going on for almost a year now. This would be the first original series from 20th Century Fox Television’s Fox 21 TV Studios for Netflix (the two companies previously teamed up for the Arrested Development revival), so deal-making has been going very slowly as new business templates are being drawn.
The two sides had been deep in negotiations on Seven Seconds when 20th TV parent 21st Century Fox last month filed a lawsuit against Netflix, alleging “illegal poaching” of Fox 21 employees, a claim Netflix has vigorously denied. The ongoing litigation has had no bearing on the Seven Seconds deal, which is expected to close.
This marks Sud’s return to Netflix, which picked up The Killing for a final fourth season after its cancellation by AMC.
O’Connor previously directed the pilot for FX’s acclaimed Cold War drama The Americans.