Director Danny Boyle reveals that his 2000 film The Beach will be adapted for television. The English filmmaker discussed the upcoming prequel series while promoting his new film Yesterday, a musical fantasy in which a man realizes that he’s the only person who remembers The Beatles.
In The Beach, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as an American traveler named Richard. He learns the location of a secret island in the Gulf of Thailand, and invites a French couple to join him for an adventure. The trio reaches their destination, but soon discovers that the social dynamics of a newly discovered beach community will complicate their relationships, and perhaps threaten their well-being. Produced for $50 million, The Beach earned over $144 million at the box office. The film’s commercial success brought attention to Alex Garland, who wrote the original 1996 novel of the same name. Since The Beach’s theatrical release, Garland has written acclaimed films such as 28 Days Later and Sunshine. In recent years, he’s written and directed both Ex Machina and Annihilation.
Per Esquire, The Beach will soon be adapted for television. While discussing Yesterday, Boyle revealed that actress/filmmaker Amy Seimetz will helm the new prequel series. The storyline will reportedly focus on the original character, Richard, but will be set in the present. Boyle describes the premise as “a bit of a headf**k.” Early in Seimetz’s career, she worked primarily with indie directors like Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, and Joe Swanberg before they became relatively famous for other projects. In recent years, Seimetz has starred in Stranger Things, Alien: Covenant, and Pet Sematary, all the while establishing a directing career. She wrote, produced, and directed the Starz series The Girlfriend Experience, and also helmed two episodes of Atlanta season 2 (“Helen” and Champagne Papi”).
As for Boyle, he famously left Bond 25 last summer due to creative differences, allowing for Cary Fukunaga to step in as the new director. In 2000, The Beach marked Boyle’s fourth feature film, this coming after he’d previously released Shallow Grave, A Life Less Ordinary, and the black comedy classic Trainspotting, all of which feature Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. In the past decade, Boyle’s films have been incredibly successful, as Slumdog Millionaire (2008) earned 10 Oscar nominations (including eight wins), while 127 Hours (2010) and Steve Jobs (2015) also received multiple nods each from the Academy.
Since The Beach will be a prequel series for television, it’s highly unlikely that DiCaprio will reprise his main role. But perhaps Seimetz will bring him on board for a cameo. And while fans of the original film may be skeptical of a new series that doesn’t involve Boyle (or even the original screenwriter John Hodge), Seimetz has proven herself more than capable of handling such a project.