Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and ‘Birdman’ Collaborators Tackle TV with Starz’s ‘One Percent’

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Starz-Series
David Buchan/Getty Images

With three Oscars under his belt, “Birdman” boss Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is sure to have no shortage of options for new projects.

But in a sign of the times for A-list feature talent, the Mexican hyphenate already has a commitment to write and direct several episodes of a new TV series for Starz, which promises to have the magical realist touches that have made Inarritu’s features so distinctive.

“The One Percent” is set to star Ed Harris, Hilary Swank and Ed Helms in the story of a struggling farmer, played by Helms, who encounters a bizarre twist of fate that might save or ruin his family business.

Starz and producer Media Rights Capital unveiled the series deal with Inarritu and his “Birdman” writer-collaborators Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris and Nicolas Giacobone last August, as buzz on the movie destined to be crowned 2014’s best picture began to build. MRC previously worked with Inarritu on his 2006 film “Babel.”

“One Percent” received a 10-episode straight-to-series order, as is Starz’s custom. Inarritu and the trio have been working on scripts for the entire first season in a writers room that opened several months ago in New York City. At present, Inarritu is also juggling directing duties on a high-profile Western for New Regency, “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.

The plan is to start production on “One Percent” early next year in a location TBD. Inarritu will direct at least the first two episodes to set the visual style of the series. The foursome are committed to driving the creative vision of the series, but they are likely to recruit some seasoned TV producers to help steer the ship once lensing begins.

The plan is to begin shooting “One Percent” by the first half of 2016, which should fit nicely with Inarritu’s schedule if “Revenant” winds up sending him on the awards-season circuit again. Pic is set for a Christmas Day debut.

Inarritu isn’t the only winner from Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony to dive headlong into TV work after a successful run through filmdom’s kudos races. Patricia Arquette, supporting actress winner for “Boyhood,” will be back on CBS next week as the star of the latest “CSI” spinoff, “CSI: Cyber,” which bows March 4.

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  1. Sean Penn is actually a down to earth fellow and in no shape or form is a racist. My brother met him when he was working for a marketing company in century city, ca. His comment as to “the green card” was a mere comfortableness as to the friendship he shares with Mr. Gonzalez-Inarritu and thee only error I find in this, was his humorist sharing in public.

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