In 1994, writer/director George Huang made a splash with Swimming with Sharks, his razor-sharp satire of Hollywood about a young, naive assistant (Frank Whaley) who gets a job working for the most powerful producer in the industry. That producer is an abusive piece of trash played by Kevin Spacey, which makes the original film a tough watch in 2020, but now a streamer is looking to remake it with women in the lead roles.
Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s new mobile-only streaming platform, will be the new home of the Swimming with Sharks remake, which has Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure) on board to star.
According to Deadline, Lionsgate is moving forward with a gender-swapped remake of Swimming with Sharks for Quibi, which is being written by Kathleen Robertson (Murder in the First), and directed by Tucker Gates (Homeland). Here’s how the outlet describes the new version:
In the series adaptation, Lou (Shipka), a young female assistant, works for Joyce (Kruger), a sole female studio head, at a company filled with manipulators, schemers and intrigue, but little do they know Lou is poised to outwit them all.
Imagine The Devil Wears Prada, but with a little more bite. Sounds like there’s an opportunity here to comment on how much the industry has changed (or not) in the past twenty-five years, while also potentially paying lip service to things like #PayUpHollywood (a movement to make sure current Hollywood assistants are being paid a living wage). I’m not sure if they’ll want to touch on the #MeToo movement in the same way that a film like The Assistant does since this is ostensibly keeping its satirical approach, but that topic isn’t off limits, so it’ll be interesting to see just how far they’re willing to go when skewering the industry. Here’s an admittedly cheesy and very ’90s trailer for the ’94 movie:
Quibi will reportedly cost $4.99 a month with advertising and $7.99 without it. The service will feature three distinct sections of programming:
- Quick Bites – Unserialized stories, like Elba vs. Block.
- Daily Essentials – A six-and-a-half-minute news program “curated for your personal tastes” that will have new episodes three times a day.
- Lighthouses – The platform’s name for the high-profile serialized shows from filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Paul Feig, Catherine Hardwicke, Guillermo del Toro, and more. These projects will be accessible in 7- to 10-minute episodes, and will ultimately range between two to four hours in length.
It launches on April 6, 2020.
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