Amazon is making a push in family entertainment with The Dangerous Book for Boys, an original half-hour single-camera series from Emmy-winning Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston and Superbad director Greg Mottola, which has received a straight-to-series six-episode order.
Created by Cranston and Mottola, the project, originally set up at NBC during the 2014-15 season, is based on the book The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden.
Mottola and Cranston have written the pilot and second episode of the series, in which Wyatt and his brothers are coming to terms with the death of their dad, Patrick, a wonderful, whimsical inventor who touched the lives of everyone who knew him. Patrick leaves the boys with a copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys, and the how-to book inspires fantasies for Wyatt. While in his fantasy world, he reconnects with his father and learns life skills that help him navigate real life.
Mottola will direct the series, which will film in New York this summer. Cranston’s Moonshot Entertainment produces with Sony Pictures Television, where the company has had a first-look deal, and Amazon Studios. Mottola and Moonshot’s Cranston and James Degus executive produce.
This has been a passion project for Cranston, who optioned the rights to the best-selling 2006 British book in June 2014 and helped shape up the idea for the series. In early September, in a very competitive situation, the project landed at NBC in a premium deal, marking Cranston’s first major TV sale as a producer.
Dangerous Book For Boys is a collection of tongue-in-cheek advice for boys on 80 topics, including how to climb a tree, build a treehouse or a go-kart and grow a crystal. It was published in the U.S. in 2007 and was previously optioned as a feature by Scott Rudin.
The Dangerous Book for Boys expands Cranston’s relationship with Amazon where he also is the co-creator/executive producer and co-star of new drama series Sneaky Pete, which has been renewed for a second season. It also is produced by Moonshot, Sony TV and Amazon Studios.