Yesterday, at the time of writing this, the world was struck by the terrible news that horror maestro Wes Craven had succumb to a battle with cancer and passed away earlier in the afternoon. However, like many of the greats that preceded him, Craven didn’t go down quietly, and a new question is now being raised about the fate of his incomplete projects.
At the time of his passing, Craven was under an overall deal at Universal Cable Productions (the studio behind Suits and Mr. Robot) to adapt his 1991 film The People Under the Stairs for series, which he would write and direct along with the Daryl Gregory book adaptation, We Are All Completely Fine. Now, still in mourning, the world has gotten an answer on the fate of these shows.
Here is the statement from Universal Cable Productions (UCP), which Craven had a first-look deal with:
Wes Craven was a master artist, a gentleman and it was our pleasure to work with him. It is our intention to bring to life all the projects Wes developed at Universal Cable Productions. Thankfully these projects have benefitted greatly from his development and guidance since their inception. They will continue in his honor and spirit.
Syfy also saluted the late Craven in the network’s own statement, adding that it (along with UCP) “will continue to develop ‘The People Under the Stairs’ and ‘We Are All Completely Fine’ — projects to which Wes had already contributed so greatly — in his spirit.”
Neither UCP nor Syfy provided updates on the project’s statuses, but odds are at least one, if not both, were heavily outlined by this point and are just in need of a creator/showrunner to step into the massive shoes of Craven to bring everything home. It would be a shame to see potential series from Craven go to waste like this when the man seemed just about ready to take the small-screen world by storm the way he did in film for decades. Craven was also serving as an executive producer on MTV’s adaptation of Scream – for which he was originally slated to potentially direct the pilot of – at the time of his passing.
A deal like the one Craven had is a big commitment for a filmmaker of the man’s stature, and typically come with the agreement that the artist in question will maintain a heavy hand on the series should it go into fulltime production. Could Syfy have been the place Craven dipped his toes into the showrunner pool? While he had created shows in the past, such as 1992’s Nightmare Café, Craven did not serve as showrunner back then. Syfy may have been the place Craven showed world the next phase of his longstanding career. Sadly, it’s something we’ll be forever left wondering what if, in this case.
Stay tuned for more information on The People Under the Stairs and We Are All Completely Fine as it becomes available.