The six-part series will star the host of The Late Late Show and the Paddington and The Shape of Water star as well as Melia Kreiling (Filthy Rich), Colin Morgan (Humans), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Killing Eve) and Samuel Anderson (Witless). Production starts this month.
Plot details are somewhat vague but Butterworth, who also wrote the Sean Penn-directed Flag Day and co-wrote the upcoming Indiana Jones film, hints that it’s about the challenges of marriage.
“A good marriage is the most magical thing. In a world of eight billion, you’ve found the one who gets you, ignites your body and soul. Who allows you to grow and flourish. Who gives you the spark, the confidence to become you. You’re also never going to have sex with anyone else, ever, and then you’re going to die, and be dead forever,” he said.
Corden and Hawkins memorably parodied the latter’s Guillermo del Toro-directed feature in a sketch on the former’s CBS late-night show (see below).
Mammals was co-created by Butterworth and James Richardson and will be produced by Street Hassle, which is operated by Butterworth as well as Vertigo Films, the Britannia producer that Richardson runs with Allan Niblo and Jane Moore, and Corden’s Fulwell 73 for Amazon Studios.
It will be directed co-exec produced Stephanie Laing, who helmed Made For Love and Physical and exec produced by Corden, Butterworth and Richardson.
Corden, who recently starred in Cinderella and The Prom, has long professed to being a fan of Butterworth, who is arguably best known for his stage work with plays such as Jerusalem and The Ferryman. He previously said that Butterworth told him it was a “punk move” to take on The Late Late Show and urged him to make his next move “be a punk move too”.
“James Corden is the only ten-time Emmy winning chat show host to also win the Tony Award for Best Actor,” said Butterworth. “His performance in One Man Two Governors was like seeing Mickey Rooney, Terry-Thomas and The Marx Brothers rolled into one. His Smithy in Gavin and Stacey is for the ages – he took a needy, big-hearted mess of a supporting character and made it iconic. But neither is a patch on his Sea Monster in The Late Late Show “Shape of Water” sketch with Sally Hawkins. Google it.”
“I am jubilant to be working with Sally again, and Colin Morgan too,” he added. “Alongside the astonishingly talented Melia Kreiling, they make a team of world class story-tellers.”
“Having seen all his plays, and having worked with Jez on three seasons of Britannia, I know that there is no better storyteller in the world to shine a light into the darkness of relationships.” said James Richardson. “And no more talented, fearless, or funnier actors than James, Sally, Melia, Colin and Samuel to portray our leads.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be announcing this Amazon Studios collaboration with the highly talented Jez Butterworth,” added Georgia Brown, Head of European Originals, Amazon Studios. “This fantastic cast will bring Jez’s compelling scripts to life, and we are delighted to be sharing Mammals with Prime Video audiences globally,” said Dan Grabiner, Head of UK Originals, Amazon Studios.