'Disturbia' director attached to project

Dick Wolf is teaming with “Disturbia” helmer D.J. Caruso and scribe J.H. Wyman to mount an ambitious comicbook-style drama that will use the same greenscreen technology utilized in the hit pic “300.”

Trio are putting together a skein for NBC based on Johnny Dynamite, the graphic novel character from “Road to Perdition” creator Max Allan Collins. In the TV take, ex-cop Dynamite travels to Las Vegas in search of his missing girlfriend, only to discover that Satan is living there, buying and selling souls. Project marks a major creative departure for “Law & Order” boss Wolf.

But the skein will have a bit of a procedural element as Dynamite ends up getting involved in the lives of those unfortunate souls who’ve been touched by the devil. A continuing theme of the series will be Dynamite’s search for his g.f.

“It’s kind of a twisted procedural, but it’s also sort of like ‘Highway to Heaven’ on acid,” said one person familiar with the project. Another point of reference, at least visually, may be Robert Rodriguez’s “Sin City.”

Caruso is attached to direct the pilot, with Wyman (“Keen Eddie”) writing the script. Duo will exec produce, along with Wolf, Nena Rodrigue and Peter Jankowski.

Collins, who struck a deal with Kickstart Prods. (“Painkiller Jane”) to manage the rights to “Dynamite,” will serve as co-exec producer, along with Jason Netter and Ken Levin. Ken Aguado, Caruso’s production partner, will also serve as co-exec producer.

Wolf Films and Kickstart Prods. are producing the pilot in association with Universal Media Studios.

If it snags a series order, the “Johnny Dynamite” project promises to be the first 100% greenscreen drama on network TV. Plan is to film the entire show on soundstages, much like “300.”

Producers are looking to capture the very unique comicbook style of the “Dynamite” universe, which couldn’t be done with traditional location shoots. Skein isn’t expected to be any less expensive than a traditional show and, in fact, could be a bit more costly.

Nonetheless, without the greenscreen technology, a show as ambitious as “Dynamite” wouldn’t be possible on a TV budget, a person familiar with smallscreen costs said.

Wolf and Caruso were brought together by Rodrigue, who’s been brokering a number of ambitious projects for Wolf Films recently. Producer is teamed with David Hudgins on an untitled medical-legal drama (Daily Variety, Sept. 11).

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