Showtime has given a pilot order to comedy The Wood, based on the 1999 feature film, from Justin Hillian (The Chi, Snowfall), Rick Famuyiwa (The Chi, Dope) and Showtime sibling Paramount Television Studios.
Famuyiwa, who co-wrote and directed the film, will direct the pilot and executive produce with Hillian, who will pen the script. The pilot order was announced during Showtime’s virtual TCA presentation Tuesday.
The Wood is an honest look at friendship and dating from the perspective of three young Black males born and raised in the gentrifying L.A. suburb of Inglewood, fondly referred to by locals as the City Of Champions. The trio’s struggles to balance fatherhood, ambition and loyalty force them to question if they are growing apart … or closer together. With a knowing nod back to the characters of the 1999 film on which it is based, this romantic comedy showcases the humor and heart of young Black men and women trying to navigate life, love and likes on the ’Gram.
The 1999 coming-of-age film, co-written by Famuyiwa and Todd Boyd, starred Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones and Taye Diggs in the lead roles.
Hillian and Famuyiwa will executive produce with David Gale and Van Toffler for Gunpowder & Sky.
Paramount Television Studios is the studio.
Paramount Television Studios also produces Showtime’s upcoming American Gigolo series reboot starring Jon Bernthal.
The Wood is personal for Famuyiwa, who was raised in Inglewood. In addition to directing the feature film version of The Wood, Famuyiwa directed HBO’s Confirmation and wrote the screenplay for 2007’s Talk To Me, earning NAACP Image Awards for both. In addition, Famuyiwa won the African-American Film Critics Association award for Best Screenplay for Dope, which he also directed. His other film projects as both writer and director include Our Family Wedding and Brown Sugar. For television, Famuyiwa shared a WGA Award nomination for The Mandalorian. Famuyiwa directed the pilot episode of The Chi, on which he has served as an executive producer since its premiere.
Hillian has served as showrunner on The Chi since the beginning of the third season. He earned a Black Reel Awards nomination for Outstanding Writing, Drama Series for his work on Snowfall. His other television credits include I’m Dying Up Here and Superstore.
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