Netflix has officially ordered Whiplash and La La Land writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Paris musical drama series, The Eddy. Chazelle, fresh off his Best Director Oscar win for La La Land, is the latest high-profile storyteller to strike a deal with the streaming giant. Netflix was extremely busy attracting big talent throughout this past month of August alone – a period of time in which the company signed a multi-year deal with Shonda Rhimes (the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder and Scandal), picked up Captain Phillips and longtime Bourne movie director Paul Greengrass’ next true-story based thriller, and formally acquired Mark Millar’s comic book company, Millarworld.
The Eddy, as it were, takes place in “contemporary multicultural Paris” and revolves around the relationship between the American and French/Arab co-owners of a jazz club based in the city. Chazelle is executive producing the series and will direct the first two of its eight episodes. Meanwhile, the score for The Eddy will be handled by multi-Grammy Award winner Glen Ballard (who also produced some of Alanis Morissette and Michael Jackson’s most famous music videos), while the series’ scripts are being written by screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne.
In addition to having written for such lauded TV series as Skins and the TV miniseries This is England ’88 (as well as This is England ’90), Thorne also co-wrote the hit play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and is currently rewriting the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode IX. Chazelle expressed his excitement about getting to collaborate with Thorne, Ballard and co-producer Alan Poul (The Newsroom, Westworld) on The Eddy in an official statement, adding that he is “thrilled that we have found a home for [‘The Eddy’] at Netflix.” Meanwhile, Netflix VP of International Originals, Erik Barmack has issued his own official statement about the news:
“From the intense, complex relationship between a jazz drummer and his instructor in ‘Whiplash’ to his dazzling duo of lovelorn Los Angelenos in ‘La La Land,’ Damien’s work is emotional and electrifying. We couldn’t be happier that he will be shooting ‘The Eddy’ in France and that we will bring this bold, global and multilingual series to our members around the world.”
As indicated by Barmack’s statement, The Eddy will feature dialogue in English, French and Arabic and intends to cast its roles in a similarly appropriate, racially-sensitive fashion, in addition to filming on-location in modern Paris. The creative freedom that Netflix is affording Chazelle and his collaborators on this project, when it comes to both its subject matter and being able to cast its characters in a culturally-thoughtful manner, is something that the streaming service has been offering multiple filmmakers and TV showrunners of late, in order to entice them to sign a deal with the company. So far, that approach is clearly working out well for them.
For similar reasons, Chazelle is following in the footsteps of such celebrated filmmakers as David Fincher and Ava DuVernay in tackling an original series for Netflix, even as he (like Fincher and DuVernay) continues to develop fare for the big screen. Case in point, the writer/director already has a new film lined up for theatrical release in 2018: First Man, a biopic about the legendary NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong that will reunite Chazelle with his La La Land star, Ryan Gosling. For those who have fast become fans of the filmmaker after his similarly music-driven efforts Whiplash and La La Land (not to mention, his directorial debut on the shoestring-budgeted indie musical Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench), this news about The Eddy should come as yet another exciting development in his career trajectory.
The Eddy doesn’t have an official premiere date yet. We will keep you posted.
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