Amazon orders five pilots, including Guillermo del Toro's Carnival Row
continues to make its mark in original content against streaming rival Netflix. Deadline has reported that Amazon Studios have ordered five new pilots, from big names such as Gilmore Girls's Amy-Sherman Palladino and Hellboy's Guillermo del Toro.
Back in January we reported that Guillermo del Toro was developing DreamWorks animated series Trollhunters. Now the famous director will be serving as executive producer on Carnival Row with Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim - alongside del Toro) and Rene Echeverria (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The 4400, Terra Nova). The supernatural show is based on an early spec script by Beacham, set in a futuristic city called the Burgue, which looks a lot like 18th Century London. It is inhabited by humans and supernatural creatures, where a serial killer is on the loose.
Next up is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. After completing work on the four Gilmore Girls follow-up movies for Netflix, Amy-Sherman Palladino will write and executive produce the Amazon 'dramedy', about a 1950s housewife who decides to be one of the first female standup comics.
The third pilot is The Legend of Master Legend, based on Joshuah Bearman’s Rolling Stone article about real-life superheros Master Legend and his sidekick, the Ace. Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster will be executive producing along with Bearman.
Tropicana is based on the nightclub of the same name in pre-revolutionary Cuba. The series will follow the club's entertainers, the mob, Batista loyalists, Castro revolutionaries and American CIA as the actions centre around the Tropicana. Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz (Klondike ) will write the series and executive produce alongside Andrea Simon.
Finally Amazon has picked up Strange New Things, based on the 2014 novel The Book Of Strange New Things by Michel Faber. The book - and show - centres on Peter Leigh, an English pastor who embarks on the journey into deep space, taking him light years away from his beloved wife, Bea. Deadline describe Strange New Things as an epic, heart-wrenching love story of a husband and wife with the universe between them at the center. The series is being written by Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies), with Kevin MacDonald (11.22.63, The Last King of Scotland) directing. Both will also executive produce alongside Andy Harries.
Are you excited for any of these shows? Strange New Things and Carnival Row certainly look the most intriguing, given the talent involved. And with original content like The Man in the High Castle and Transparent (which was just renewed for a fourth season) and some big acquisitions like Preacher and Lucifer, Amazon is clearly marking themselves as a viable alternative to the equally good Netflix. Perhaps it's time to shell out for both?