Greenlit: CBS Gives Series Orders to Queen Latifah-Led ‘Equalizer’ Reboot, ‘Clarice,’ + More

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Greenlit means a project is officially a go, so all you have to do is follow these leads to stay up to date. You never know where you’ll find an opportunity to land an audition!

“Clarice,” “The Equalizer,” and More
While most of the industry remains shut down, CBS is keeping some business as usual with a slew of new season orders. The network has made three series pick-ups for the 2020–21 season, including “The Equalizer,” a reboot starring Queen Latifah, the “Silence of the Lambs” sequel series “Clarice,” and the multi-cam Chuck Lorre comedy “B Positive.” These reportedly mark the first shows that were going through the pilot season process to get picked up for the next season, with “B Positive” the only pilot to have completed filming before the production shutdown. As for the projects themselves, “The Equalizer” reboot stars Latifah (alongside Chris Noth, Lorraine Toussaint, Tory Kittles, Liza Lapira, and Laya DeLeon Hayes) as “an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn.” As previously reported, “Clarice” will star Rebecca Breeds as the titular FBI Agent in the aftermath of the events of “The Silence of the Lambs.” And “B Positive” will star Thomas Middleditch and Annaleigh Ashford and follows “a therapist and newly divorced dad (Middleditch) who is faced with finding a kidney donor when he runs into a rough-around-the-edges woman from his past (Ashford) who volunteers her own.” Be sure to keep an eye out on all three shows’ casting teams when production is ready to start back up; Tucker/Meyerson is casting “The Equalizer,” April Webster is casting and Valko/Miller is casting “B Positive.”

M. Night Shyamalan Feature
No twist here: M. Night Shyamalan has set the cast for his next movie. Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, and Vicky Krieps are all reportedly in final negotiations to star in the top-secret project, which will be written, produced, and directed by the famous filmmaker and released by Universal. According to Variety, the hope is to begin filming by the end of the year. No release date has been set at this time, so keep an eye out on Shyamalan’s usual casting director Douglas Aibel for any upcoming opportunities.

“Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Musical Parody”
Those keen to head back to Pawnee will get a chance to do in a new stage show. New York parody writers Bob and Tobly McSmith are putting their quarantine time to good use and have written “Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Musical Parody,” an Off-Broadway musical that plans to cast and open following the shutdown. The show will spoof America’s favorite Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Leslie Knope, as she eyes a run for president and includes songs such as “Whatever Tammy Wants,” “What Would Nancy Pelosi Do?” and more. The McSmith duo is previously behind stage musical parodies of “The Office,” “Friends,” “Love Actually,” and others. Be sure to stay connected for casting updates and more by heading to its website.

Aniello/Downs/Statsky Comedy Series
After a pilot order in January, a new comedy series from “Broad City” alums Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky is officially heading to HBO Max. The currently untitled single-camera comedy, which will star Jean Smart, has been given a 10-episode order. Executive produced by “The Good Place” creator Mike Schur, the project revolves around a dark mentorship that forms between two women from different generations: a Las Vegas diva (Smart) and an entitled, 25-year-old outcast. No further cast or casting team has been announced at this point, but Allison Jones is always a safe gamble when it comes to a Schur project.

Beck/Woods Thriller Feature
While “A Quiet Place 2” currently sits in theatrical limbo, the writers behind the original are teaming back up for a new project. Scott Beck and Ryan Woods have landed their untitled sci-fi thriller at Sony Pictures. Plot details are currently being kept under wraps, but the duo will write, direct, and produce under their newly formed Beck/Woods Banner, along with Sam Raimi/Zainab Azizi’s Raimi Productions and Debbie Liebling. This is the third film that Raimi Productions has sold to the studio in the past year and the second collaboration between Raimi and Beck/Woods (the two recently wrote and directed one episode of Raimi’s Quibi series “50 States of Fright.”) Both Beck/Woods and Raimi regularly work with casting director Nancy Nayor—another collaboration could be on the horizon.

BJ Novak has several stories to tell, and FX is going to help him tell them. The author and “The Office” star has landed an order at the network for “Platform,” a half-hour anthology series that is being described as “using the issues of our times as a jumping-off point to tell character-driven stories about the world we live in today.” Each episode of the project will feature a different cast, as evident by the first two episodes, which were filmed for a hopeful pickup. Included in those two episodes were Lucas Hedges, Kaitlyn Dever, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., Jon Bernthal, and more. Novak wrote and directed the first two episodes— expect him to return to the writers’ room and director’s chair for more throughout the first season. Rich King and Kelly Hunt were the background casting directors for the project’s first two episodes, so be sure to keep an eye out on calls from their offices when production resumes!

Mike Flanagan is back for more of Stephen King’s world. The “Doctor Sleep” filmmaker will reportedly write and likely direct a feature adaptation of the author’s 2013 novel “Revival” for Warner Bros. At this time, Flanagan has only signed on to write and produce via his Intrepid Pictures banner, but he does have the option to direct. The story follows Reverend Charles Jacobs, a Maine minister who shares a secret obsession with a boy that has profound consequences for over five decades. This is Flanagan’s second King project, following November’s “The Shining” sequel. Look for him to return to Engine Casting CDs Anne McCarthy and Kellie Roy if he does end up helming “Revival.”

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