So, how long has Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s TV series “The One Percent” been kicking around? We had it on our list of The 20 Most Anticipated TV Shows Of 2015. Yep, it’s been that long, and while for most shows that kind of delay would mean death, backers MRC are sticking with it, even though Starz, who gave the project a straight-to-series order in 2014, have now backed out of their deal to screen “The One Percent” in the U.S.
However, the doesn’t mean the wheels still aren’t moving on the show, but it’s all a matter of logistics. To recap, “The One Percent” was originally slated to star Ed Helms and Hilary Swank as a married couple in the organic farming business together, who are struggling personally and professionally, with Ed Harris lined up as the family patriarch. Well, Helms has dropped out and been replaced by Greg Kinnear, while Swank has stayed on. Harris’ involvement will depend on his schedule for the next season of “Westworld.” Meanwhile, celebrated production designer Jack Fisk (“The Revenant,” “The Tree Of Life,” “Mulholland Dr.“) will lend his talents.
All that talent sounds great, so what’s the hold up? Delays and ambition. The longer than expected shoot for “The Revenant” pushed “The One Percent” back, but the approach Iñárritu is taking isn’t making things easier either. In addition to directing the pilot, he’s guiding the creative direction of the series (along with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki), which will be shot in sequence, just as he did on “Birdman” and “The Revenant.” That’s rare for a film, but almost unheard of in television, where the expansive narratives and cast make shooting out of sequence a necessity. It also requires cast members blocking off huge portions of their schedules which isn’t always feasible. That said, according to Deadline, there will only be one location, a farm in the Midwest, which should make things more manageable.
Nonetheless, MRC are still dedicated to the project and are hoping to get cameras rolling in a few months. We’ll see if that happens, but we’re certainly curious to see the result.