EXCLUSIVE: Five-time Emmy nominee and three-time Golden Globe nominee Noah Wyle is opening the doors to his new production label Slippery Moon Productions with longtime creative colleague Zach Luna. At the same time, the first project they’re developing in association with Warner Bros TV is a limited-series adaptation of the 2016’s Kills on Wheels, which was Hungary’s foreign film Oscar submission.
Set in an assisted living facility, Kills on Wheels tells the story of two young men with disabilities, whose lives are transformed when they are asked to aid a paraplegic assassin in his quest to dismantle the Serbian crime syndicate that betrayed him. Wyle first learned about the film from his stepfather Jim Katz, who serves on the AMPAS foreign film committee.
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As a longtime advocate of rights for the disabled, down to getting arrested in a 2012 Capitol Hill protest over Medicaid cuts alongside several demonstrators in wheelchairs, Wyle said Kills on Wheels spoke greatly to him.
“The film had this punk-rock sensibility. I had never seen anything quite like it. The film was cast with actors who had disabilities and I was struck by how all of my sympathies, empathies and touch of pity toward the community was thrown back in my face violently. It revealed to me how little they want that.”
Wyle’s interest in adapting the feature into a limited series which he’ll produce, write and direct, rather than a U.S. movie remake, stems from expanding the boundaries of the IP.
“These guys are like an elite squad out of this Victorian, decrepit home for people with disabilities with all the underpinnings of a graphic novel,” says the ER alum.
“Even in this new era of inclusion, there is still a community that is being tremendously underserved. Our goal is twofold – to create a show unlike anything that has ever been seen on television, and to redefine the current perceptions about people with disabilities and what they are capable of,” Wyle tells Deadline.
“The focus lately on inclusion has been amazing. It hasn’t extended to this community and my hope is that this project will dynamite that barrier out of existence,” the multi-hyphenate adds.
Wyle’s friendship with Luna goes back to their teenage years when they met as high school juniors during a Northwestern University Theatre Arts program. They opted to skip college and head to Hollywood to become actors together.
Kills on Wheels was written and directed by Attila Till, and produced by Judit Stalter and is currently available for viewing on Netflix. Wyle is represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Gersh.
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