Recently, Scott Z. Burns (“The Report“) has made headlines due to the unfortunate coincidences between his script for 2011’s “Contagion” and the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. However, we’re pleased to report that Burns has a new project he’s working on that is about as far away from global health crises that you can get—a new musical series, “National Anthem.”
According to Deadline, Burns has teamed up with “Breaking Bad” producer Mark Johnson and AMC to develop a new musical dramedy titled “National Anthem.” Burns will write and direct the series that tells the story of “a middle-class midwestern family tumbling down the ladder of American society; periodically bursting into song as they struggle to catch themselves.”
You can’t have a musical without music, and providing the sounds of “National Anthem” are T Bone Burnett (“Crazy Heart”) and The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn. Burnett is on board the series as the music producer with Finn providing the actual words and music.
“Craig, T Bone and I are thrilled to be working with Mark and AMC,” said Burns. “We are so grateful for the chance to write about this moment in time and surround our characters with songs. Sarah and Susie and everyone at AMC should be celebrated for their vision in saying ‘yes’ to this.”
Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks’ Entertainment Group and AMC Studios, added, “‘National Anthem’ is a family drama with deep resonant things to say about the fragility of our country, our world and our planet. Plus…it’s a musical! In Scott’s genius hands this results in a hugely original, intense, funny and moving piece of writing. We’re so happy to work with Scott as he brings this unique story to life and absolutely delighted to continue our creative partnership with Mark, who we have been so lucky to work with on some of the most critically acclaimed series over the last decade.”
Obviously, “National Anthem” is still in the early days of development, so there’s no cast or release date at this time. However, with Burns and his incredible partners, you have to imagine that this is a series that will be at the top of our must-watch list.