EXCLUSIVE: A marquee drama series package is heating up the marketplace. I hear Old Man, starring Samuel L. Jackson in his first TV series gig, from Black Sails co-creator Jonathan E. Steinberg, Fargo and Handmaid’s Tale executive producer Warren Littlefiueld and Fox 21 TV Studios, is being pitched to the major basic and pay cable networks and streaming platforms, including FX, TNT, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, with multiple offers already on the table.
Written by Steinbarg based on the book The Old Man by Edgar Award-winning crime thriller author Thomas Perry, Old Man centers on widower Dan Chase (Jackson), an average Vermont retiree with a dark secret. Following Chase’s involvement as a young army intelligence hotshot in a botched operation in Libya thirty five years ago, he went on the run, trying to escape people who want him dead. Just as he had begun to think he was finally safe, Chase finds himself again in the crosshairs.
Steinberg executive produces with his producing partner Dan Shotz, Jackson and Littlefield.
Old Man falls under the first-look deal Littlefield inked with Fox 21 TV Studios in December. Littlefield was one of the producers invited by WME to bid for the rights to bestselling author Perry’s 24th novel, which was published this past January. Perry picked the former NBC Entertainment president-turned-producer, who in turn brought the book to Steinberg to pen the adaptation. The two pitched the Oscar-nominated Jackson (Pulp Fiction) who came on board for what will be his first major TV commitment.
Littlefield has emerged as one of the hottest producers at the moment with breakout new Hulu drama Handmaid’s Tale joining FX’s Emmy-winning anthology Fargo. The two, both exec produced by him, netted a combined 29 Primetime Emmy nominations earlier this month.
This would be Steinberg’s fourth TV series. He previously created/co-created Jericho on CBS, Human Target on Fox and pirate drama Black Sails, which just wrapped a four-season run on Starz.
Old Man would expand the Bert Salke-led Fox 21 TV Networks’ footprint, which includes American Crime Story, Feud and The Americans on FX, Queen of the South on USA, Genius on Nat Geo, Homeland, The Chi and Dice on Showtime, Chance on Hulu and the upcoming Seven Seconds on Netflix.
Jackson, recently seen in Kong: Skull Island and xXx: Return of Xander Cage, plays Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe. He is repped by ICM Partners. Steinberg is repped by WME.