ABC, which has been largely out of the spy genre since Alias, is reentering it in a big way. The network, which already is developing a Charlie’s Angels reboot, just landed the series adaptation of James Cameron’s 1994 action comedy True Lies, in a premium deal that includes a large penalty. Cameron is executive producing the project, which was taken to the networks earlier this week, with Rene Echevarria, who will serve as writer and showrunner and Lightstorm’s Rae Sanchini and Jon Landau. 20th Century Fox TV is producing. (James Cameron Adapts ‘True Lies’ For TV)
The 1994 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis centered on Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger), a computer salesman/family man who lives a double life as a government spy. During a top-secret mission, Harry discovers that his mousy wife Helen (Curtis), is seeking adventure. Harry sets out to give her the excitement she craves while battling Middle Eastern terrorists who threaten nuclear war with the U.S.
Before True Lies, ABC tried to adapt another movie about a spy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The project was ordered to pilot in 2007 but didn’t go to series. In his development picks so far, new ABC chief Paul Lee has gone mostly for noisy, light/genre projects from proven auspices with premium deals for True Lies, Darren Star’s dramedy adaptation of the book Good Christian Bitches and a horror thriller from Paranormal Activity writer-director Oren Peli.