Erik Jendresen (“Band of Brothers”) is writing the script, which looks to be turned into an eight-hour miniseries event for the Alphabet.
ABC Studios is producing, along with Ventanarosa Prods., the shingle run by Hayek and production partner Jose Tamez. Hayek, Tamez and Jendresen will all exec produce.
ABC and all of the broadcast networks have mostly gotten out of the made-for-TV and miniseries business, save for a few time buys and acquisitions. But the webs haven’t been anxious to get back into the longform biz – ABC, for example, has had the four-hour miniseries “Ben Hur” on the shelf for many months, but hasn’t yet figured out where or when to air it.
But “Wicked,” a retelling of the “Wizard of Oz” tale from the Wicked Witch’s point of view, may make a better fit for the Alphabet web.
The miniseries is based on the 1995 book “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Maguire.
Maguire’s book – which recast the witch as a hero fighting for her homeland — was turned into the wildly popular musical “Wicked,” which hit Broadway in 2003.
But the ABC miniseries will stick to the book and won’t be based on the musical, which was written by Winnie Holzman (and produced by Marc Platt and David Stone).
ABC does not have any rights to the musical, which has been in development as a feature at Universal (which was also an investor in the Broadway show) via Platt’s company.
Hayek is so far attached solely as an exec producer; it’s unclear whether she would take a role in the project.
As for Jendresen, the scribe is also writing the drama script “Voyage to Mars” for NBC through Sony Pictures TV. He’s exec producing “Mars” with Ross Fineman.
Jendresen, who’s repped by WME, wrote the bible and several episodes of “Band of Brothers” for HBO.