No fib: Twentieth Century Fox TV has sealed an overall deal with “L.I.E.” director Michael Cuesta to develop, produce and direct series for the studio.
Cuesta is helming Fox pilot “The Oaks” for 20th and was also behind the much-talked-about CBS zombie-themed drama pilot “Babylon Fields,” also from 20th, last season.
“Babylon Fields” was “really a pilot that stuck with us as one of those ones that we just couldn’t believe didn’t get ordered,” said 20th Century Fox TV chairman Gary Newman. “We loved it, and thought it would potentially be a breakout show. But even before the pilot was delivered, we knew we had to stay in business with Michael.”
Newman said he was impressed with Cuesta during the pre-production process. “He’s got such a point of view, and incredible taste when it came to casting,” he said. Deal reps the first-ever overall pact Cuesta has signed with a feature or TV studio.
“You hear these horror stories about working in TV, but 20th really supported (‘Babylon’),” Cuesta said. “I felt I was making my film. It made sense once they came to me to go ahead and try this.”
Cuesta said he hopes to resurrect “Babylon Fields,” which is starting to become an Internet sensation via file-sharing services.
“There’s been talk with 20th and CBS about redeveloping it,” Cuesta said. “It’s one of those pieces that everyone adores, and it’s hard to shake.” “Babylon Fields” has also gone through stops as a feature independent and a project in development at HBO until it finally landed at 20th and went into production last spring.
Besides “L.I.E.,” Cuesta’s feature credits include “12 and Holding.” In TV, his credits also include directing the pilot to “Dexter.”
Cuesta is repped by Endeavour.