Really, No Room at Warner Bros. These Days Even for David Chase's Next Project? He's Taking His Talents to FX
The legendary 'Sopranos' creator still has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, but he's now set to team with 'A Teacher' creator Hannah Fidell at FX Productions
Under the austerity of CEO David Zaslav and his management team, it seems like it's pretty tough to get a new project produced at Warner Bros. Discovery these days, even for someone who has created generational wealth underpinning the entire enterprise.
That may be why Sopranos creator David Chase, who signed a five-year first-look deal with WBD as recently as October 2021, has decided to take one of his scripts to Disney's FX Productions, where he'll partner with Hannah Fidell (A Teacher) to turn it into a TV show.
Fidell, best known for creating the FX and Hulu ripped-from-the-headlines, Texas-teacher-boinks-a-student drama A Teacher in 2020, will direct the project, for which little if any thematic information has leaked. Fidell has a first-look deal with FX, and has also directed installments of Pam & Tommy, Casual and The Act.
They seem to like her there.
Chase's unproduced script has apparently been around long enough for the consolidated showbiz trades to write (opens in new tab) that Fidell has been enlisted to give it a "contemporary take."
Chase, 77, hasn't been super active over the last decade, having only produced and directed mildly disappointing Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark for Warner/HBO in 2021, and one of late Sopranos star James Gandolfini's last projects, 2012 rock group drama Not Fade Away, before that.
(Chase was reportedly miffed when the previous Warner regime elected to premiere Many Saints, and the rest of the 2021 Warner film slate, on HBO Max the same day it hit the still pandemic ravaged theater circuit.)
Of course, before that, Chase created what many have argued to be the greatest TV drama in the history of the medium -- an asset that has benefitted HBO and parent WBD, both in terms of brand identity and bottom line, in incalculable ways.
And that admittedly hyperbolic paragraph comes before mentioning a pre-Sopranos writing career that included Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Rockford Files and Northern Exposure.
Chase, Fidell and Chase Films’ Nicole Lambert will executive produce the new project.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!