×

Helmer will be back

WBTV sets Nutter on pilot

Warner Bros. TV has set David Nutter to direct the pilot for “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” prompting Fox Broadcasting to officially greenlight production on the “Terminator”-themed project.

Nutter, whose last 12 pilots have all been picked up to series, also will serve as exec producer. Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar’s C2 Pictures, which produced the most recent “Terminator” feature, is producing with Warner Bros. TV.

Fox made a put pilot commitment to “Connor” last fall (Daily Variety, Nov. 10), picking up the script from exec producer Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”). Kassar and Vajna will also exec produce.

Casting on “Connor” will begin immediately, with lensing expected to commence early next year in New Mexico.

Nutter — who directed the pilots of successes such as “Smallville,” “Without a Trace” and “Supernatural” — has a connection with original “Terminator” helmer James Cameron, having directed the pilot for Cameron’s Fox skein “Dark Angel.”

“It’s important for me to live up, as best I can, to the bar that Jim Cameron set,” Nutter told Daily Variety, saying the pilot “has to carry as much of a punch” as possible, even on a TV budget.

As a result, Nutter said he’s not thinking about directing any other pilots this season.

“This is a huge project that’s going to take an extensive amount of preparation and pre-production,” he said, adding he wants to protect “the integrity of what Cameron created.”

As outlined in Friedman’s script, new installment in the “Terminator” franchise revolves around robo-warrior Connor and her savior son, John Connor. C2 senior veepee of development James Middleton, who’s a producer on the project, said last fall that “Connor” will explore what happened to Sarah Connor after the end of “T2,” when the character went on the run.

“She has the weight of the world on her shoulders, and she also has to raise a 14-year-old son who may be the salvation of the world,” he said.

Original “Terminator” stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be involved in the new project, Nutter said.

Nutter said his involvement with “Connor” began after he bumped into Friedman at a screening, and Friedman told him about the project. Not long after, Nutter spent four days at Comic-Con, and that prompted him to request a copy of Friedman’s script.

“It really expanded the characters and did what any good movie-to-TV script should do, which is send them in directions you wouldn’t expect,” Nutter said.

Helmer recently inked a new overall deal with Warner Bros. TV (Daily Variety, June 26).

More TV

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    HBO Teaming With Bill Simmons on Music Docuseries

    Bill Simmons’ The Ringer is continuing to expand its relationship with HBO. The company, which already produced the “Andre The Giant” doc at the cabler, is teaming with HBO on a six-part docuseries about the world of music. The project is slated to air on the network in 2021 and will center on pivotal moments [...]

  • Frida Torresblanco

    Viacom International Studios, Braven Films Sign First-Look Deal

    At Miami’s NATPE market, Viacom Intl. Studios (VIS) announced an exclusive development and production first-look agreement with Spanish-American film and TV producer Frida Torresblanco’s production company Braven Films. Braven films is run by Torresblanco and her partners Eric Laufer and Giovanna Randall and produces feature films, television series and documentaries. Torresblanco’s resumé is packed with [...]

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks

    TV Ratings: Trump Impeachment First Day Draws 11 Million Viewers

    The opening day of President Trump’s senate impeachment trial drew a substantial amount if viewers across the three cable news and major networks that broadcast the proceedings. In total, around 11 million people tuned in to see prosecutors from the House of Representatives and attorneys for the White House argue over exactly how the complicated [...]

  • ABC Logo

    ABC Picks Up Drama Pilot 'Harlem's Kitchen' From 'Scandal' Writer

    ABC has made their third drama pilot pick up and fourth pilot pick up overall for the 2020-2021 season. The broadcaster has ordered the drama pilot “Harlem’s Kitchen.” It is described as an ensemble family drama set in a fine dining restaurant in Harlem. Ellis Rice, Executive Chef and patriarch, runs a successful restaurant with [...]

  • Cate Blanchett Mrs. America

    'FX on Hulu' Shows Will Be Counted as FX at the Emmys (EXCLUSIVE)

    Upcoming original series “Devs,” “Mrs. America,” “A Teacher” and “The Old Man” won’t actually air on FX — but the network will still get credit when it comes to Emmy consideration. The Television Academy has said that all “FX on Hulu” shows — which will air exclusively on Hulu, and not on the linear network [...]

  • Johnny Flynn

    Johnny Flynn Joins Andrew Scott in Showtime Series 'Ripley'

    Johnny Flynn has been cast opposite Andrew Scott in the upcoming Showtime series based on Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels. Flynn will appear in a series regular role in the eight-episode first season. In “Ripley,” Tom Ripley (Scott), a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, is hired by a wealthy man to try [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content