Showtime has ordered a pilot for a new comedy series based on The Wood, a 1999 comedy film that starred Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones and Taye Diggs. The pilot will be directed and executive produced by Rick Famuyiwa - who co-wrote and directed the original film - according to a report by Deadline. From the sound of it, the original stars would not be returning this time around.
Famuyiwa has co-created this series version of The Wood with Justin Hillian, who is known for The Chi and Snowfall. The two worked together on The Chi, and are now hoping to bring this cult classic back to life. The pilot order was revealed as Showtimes virtual TCA presentation on Tuesday. Paramount Television Studios would also be involved in the production.
The Wood is named after Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles, California that was already being gentrified at the time of the original movie. Over two decades later, its message still rings true, and the movie's emphasis on friendship and romance is just as relevant. The Wood centered around a trio of young Black men trying to balance fatherhood, ambition and integrity, with plenty of laughs in between.
The new version would reportedly pick up on all of these themes right where they left off, with new avenues to explore including social media clout. Famuyiwa has said that this setting and its stories are extremely personal for him since he grew up in Inglewood, and that will be no different now.
Famuyiwa has won two NAACP Image Awards - one for directing HBO's Confirmation and one for writing the screenplay for Talk To Me (2007). He also wrote and directed Dope, which won him the African-American Film Critics Association award for Best Screenplay. In more recent years, he has taken on more collaborative projects including The Mandalorian and The Chi.
Famuyiwa worked with Hillian on The Chi, where Hillian was showrunner starting in Season 3. He has also worked on shows like I'm Dying Up Here and Superstore. Right now, he has no other upcoming projects listed on IMDb.
The announcement has a few fans excited on social media, and some reminiscing on the 1999 original movie for the first time in years. For those interested in revisiting the movie as the pilot gets underway, The Wood is streaming now on BET+. It can also be digitally rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube and other digital stores.
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