Showtime Picks Up Coming-Of-Age Survival Drama ‘Yellowjackets’ To Pilot; Karyn Kusama To Direct


Showtime has given a pilot greenlight to Yellowjackets, a drama from writers Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (Narcos), Entertainment One and studio-based producer Drew Comins. Karyn Kusama (Destroyer) will direct and executive produce the pilot, a co-production of Showtime and Entertainment One. Production begins this fall in Los Angeles.

Written by Lyle and Nickerson, Yellowjackets is equal parts survival epic, horror story and coming-of-age drama and relates the narrative of a team of wildly talented high school girls soccer players who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to warring, cannibalistic clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together nearly 25 years later, proving that the past is never really past and what began out in the wilderness is far from over.

Lyle, Nickerson and Kusama executive produce with Comins via his Creative Engine Entertainment.

Yellowjackets is a fascinating, genre-spanning story that will resonate with viewers young and old,” said Jana Winograde, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks. “With a background helming projects that visit the places of both our wildest dreams and worst nightmares, Karyn is the perfect director to bring Ashley and Bart’s wonderful script to life.”

Described tonally as Big Little Lies meets Lord of the Flies, Yellowjackets landed at Showtime for development in a competitive situation a little more than a year ago. The project was an original idea by Lyle and Nickerson. It was pursued by multiple producers, with Comins ultimately securing the project via his then-overall deal with the Mark Gordon Co. At eOne, the project is overseen by Jacqueline Sacerio.

Yellowjackets has been on a parallel development track to The Wilds, an Amazon YA drama with a similar setting, which has been picked up to series.

Kusama has directed television series including Billions, The L Word, Masters of Sex, Halt and Catch Fire, Casual and The Man in the High Castle. Her feature credits include Destroyer, The Invitation, Jennifer’s Body, Aeon Flux and Girlfight, which she also wrote and for which she was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for best first feature. Yellowjackets marks Kusama’s pilot directing debut.

2019 Showtime Pilots & Series Orders

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