David O. Russell, Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore are heading to Amazon Studios with their new series.
Russell, who has directed such big hitters as Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and Joy, is the latest high-profile feature director to head to the small screen – and it’s a move that has been generating a lot of buzz for several months, not least because it has A-listers De Niro and Moore attached.
Details on the untitled project are scarce, but Deadline reports that Russell will write and direct the whole of what is thought to be a mafia crime drama. That alone was enough for the series, which is produced by The Weinstein Company, to attract a lot of attention in the marketplace in August, with agents reportedly making big offers to get networks to hear the pitch. FX and Amazon emerged as the frontrunners of a heated contest, but Amazon came out on top, with what Deadline reports is a two-season deal of eight episodes each at $160 million.
Sources tell Variety that $850,000 of that will go to De Niro per episode, which would work out at $6.8 million of the total budget.
Producing alongside Russell are Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, who developed the project with the director, while Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser and Megan Ellison are on board as Executive Producers.
The show marks a reunion for the director of De Niro, who have previously collborated on Silver Linings and Joy. It also sees Amazon and The Weinstein Co. partner up once again, following the recent deal for the new series from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner.
The high-profile agreement continues the trend for Hollywood stars to lead small-screen projects, which arguably began with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in HBO’s True Detective. Since then, Halle Berry starred in CBS’ Extant, Emma Stone and Jonah Hill have signed on for Netflix’s Maniac, Daniel Craig will star in Showtime’s Purity, Amy Adams will star in HBO’s Sharp Objects and Naomi Watts will lead Netflix’s Gypsy. De Niro, meanwhile, will next be seen playing Bernie Madoff in HBO movie Wizard of Lies.