J.J. Abrams is at it again. In addition to Alcatraz and two other projects in pre-production, the busy producer's company Bad Robot is shopping a neo-noir crime drama called Pulp to television networks.
There's very little information available on the project at the moment and it is currently in the early stages of development. Monica Breen and Alison Schapker, whose previous works include Bad Robot projects Lost and Fringe, are writing the pilot and serving as executive producers. The only other pearl of information is that the potential series will feature a "heightened reality" setting - which doesn't mean a whole lot when speaking about a medium like television.
Comparisons to Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film Pulp Fiction started flying at the news, but at this early stage in production there's not much evidence that the new series will share much with the iconic movie. As anyone who's seen the opening credits will know, the term 'Pulp' applies to a wide range of both vintage and modern stories.
Originally referring to dime novels and comics printed on cheap pulp paper, the term now applies to movies, television and books that attempt to capture the gritty, unapologetic style of the original stories from the early 20th century. It's unlikely that a show on network television would feature the same raw action and dialogue of Tarantino's work (to say nothing of the non-linear storytelling), but a rough crime series could prove a nice counterpoint to Fringe and Undercovers.
Assuming that Pulp is picked up by a major network, it will become the fourth Bad Robot project in pre-production. Lost stars Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson have signed on to Odd Jobs at NBC. Jonathan Nolan, who's worked with his brother Christopher on The Dark Knight and Memento, is writing an unnamed show for CBS. Alcatraz, a series about a group of government agents tracking down time-traveling former inmates and staff of the iconic prison, will begin filming at Fox in under a month.
Considering Abrams' and Bad Robot's track record, it's likely that one of the big four will pick up Pulp very soon.
Source: TV Guide