Billed as comedy, zombie show is latest salvo in video-streaming wars
Amazon.com’s studio arm said it would develop a new comedy series based on the 2009 cult-favorite film “Zombieland” as part of its efforts to lure fans of original programming content to its streaming-video service.
The series is the seventh comedy pilot added to Amazon’s pilot line-up, and will be made available for free on Amazon Instant Video and the company’s U.K. streaming service Lovefilm U.K. Customer feedback will help determine which of13 pilots Amazon Studios will make into full-season productions, to air on Prime Instant Video. The company has already commissioned six children’s pilots as well as the six comedies.
“Zombieland is a fan favorite and we can’t wait to see where this story line goes in a serialized format,” said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, in a prepared statement. “We’ve been announcing a lot of exciting exclusive content for Prime Instant Video, like ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Under the Dome,’ and ‘Justified,’ and we think adding original shows to that lineup is going to make Prime even more enticing for customers.”
The announcement is just the latest salvo among popular video-streaming services like Amazon and Netflix, many of whom are attempting to build up libraries of original content in an effort to drive more use of their services and lure more subscribers. Netflix has already launched the ambitious “House of Cards,” a much-scrutinized drama featuring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, though there is little solid data available about how many of the company’s members watched the full series and whether they may want more of the same.
“Zombieland” is based on a Columbia Pictures movie of the same name, and centers on four survivors trying to outwit zombies while searching for a place to call home. The “Zombieland” pilot comes from the feature film’s original creative team, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and producer Gavin Polone. Eli Craig will directing the pilot.
Kirk Ward, Maiara Walsh, Tyler Ross and Izabela Vidovic will comprise the main cast.
Amazon Studios has begun production on six comedy pilots: “Alpha House,” “Browsers,” “Dark Minions,” “Onion News Empire,” “Supanatural” and “Those Who Can’t.” Six children’s series are also currently in production, including “Creative Galaxy,” “Oz Adventures,” “Teeny Tiny Dogs,” “Tumbleaf,” “Sara Solves It,” and “The Untitled J.J. Johnson Project.”