Details of the project are still sketchy but it’s believed to be a serialized limited series. Russell’s reps at CAA are understood to have sent out feelers to network buyers asking for a hefty financial commitment even in advance of a formal pitch from Russell.
It’s not clear if the project is set up at a production entity yet but Scott Lambert, Alexandra Milchan and Megan Ellison are on board as producers.
Russell has developed a few TV projects over the past decade at FX, CBS and ABC, and he was an exec producer on the offbeat five-episode Syfy series “Outer Space Astronauts” in 2009. But the Moore-De Niro project would mark his most significant foray into TV. It’s unclear if there are other writers involved at this stage.
The Russell package represents the trend of A-listers assembling high-profile series packages that draw hefty bids. Earlier this year, Showtime made a two-season commitment for a drama to star Daniel Craig from producer Scott Rudin and director Todd Field, based on the Jonathan Franzen novel “Purity.”
HBO’s deal with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson for “True Detective” set the template for projects that sidestep the traditional development process by commanding straight-to-series commitments in an auction process.
Russell earned back-to-back directing and screenwriting Oscar nominations for 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook” and 2013’s “American Hustle.” He was also nommed for directing for 2010’s “The Fighter.”
Moore won a best actress Oscar last year for her work in 2014’s “Still Alice,” and she grabbed an Emmy in 2012 for her turn as Sarah Palin in HBO’s “Game Change.”
De Niro worked with Russell on “Silving Livings Playbook,” which earned him a supporting actor Oscar nom. He’s become active in TV as a producer and he is starring in HBO’s upcoming Bernard Madoff movie “The Wizard of Lies.” He’s got two Oscars in his trophy case, for 1974’s “The Godfather Part II” and 1980’s “Raging Bull.”
Reps for CAA declined comment.
(Pictured: Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro)