The Walking Dead star’s bigbaldhead production company and AMC Studios are developing a small-screen series version of Meyer’s 1965 flick starring Satana, Lori Williams, Susan Bernard, Paul Trina, Haji and Stuart Lancaster, I have learned. The project has the full backing of the Meyer estate.
Still in the early stages, the project comes under the two-year first-look deal Reedus and his banner inked with the studio in September last year. Utilizing the movie’s tale of a trio of badass go-go dancers on a cash-fueled rampage through the desert, Faster Pussycat the TV show aims to pay homage to the original but also go beyond the fast cars and karate kicks to home in on the strong female characters and the overturning of cultural norms that was deeper in the bones of the movie.
Long praised by the likes of John Waters and others, Faster Pussycat was a flop on almost all levels upon its release back in the LBJ era. In more recent decades, critical opinion has spun almost right around, with the film more often touted as Beyond the Valley of the Dolls director Meyer’s crowning cinematic achievement – in no small part due to the agency his famed female characters have and act on in Faster Pussycat and later pictures.
“I’ve been watching Russ Meyer’s film since I was a kid, wearing my Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill! shirt to school,” Reedus told Deadline today. “It’s safe to say I’m beyond inspired by Russ’ style of filmmaking and I am over the moon excited for the opportunity to reimagine this story for the modern world.”
As his transitions from TWD next year to a spinoff starring him and Melissa McBride in 2023, Reedus will serve as executive producer on the Faster Pussycat series. He will be joined in that capacity by bigbaldhead’s JoAnne Colonna and Amanda Verdon. Janice Cowart, sole trustee of the Russ Meyer Charitable Trust, will be an EP on the series.
The Trust has operated RM Films International since Meyer’s death in 2004 at age 82.
“I hit it off with bigbaldhead right away,” Cowart says of the collaboration. “I am convinced this team is special and can be entrusted to honor Russ Meyer’s iconic film. I am more than excited to collaborate with them alongside AMC.”
Or, as Varla declares in Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! the movie: The point is of no return, and you’ve reached it!
Reedus is represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners, CAA and law firm Jackoway Austen. Cowart and The Russ Meyer Trust were represented in the deal by attorney Philip Daniels.
In case you forgot, the news comes as the supersized 11th and final season of TWD is set to debut August 22 on AMC.