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Netflix Orders Western Limited Series ‘American Primeval’ Starring Taylor Kitsch From Mark L. Smith, Peter Berg, Eric Newman

American Primeval Netflix
Eric Ray Davidson; Michael Buckner/Variety; Variety/REX/Shutterstock; Stewart Cook/Variety

Netflix has ordered a six-episode limited series titled “American Primeval” with Taylor Kitsch set to star, Variety has learned.

The drama series hails from writer Mark L. Smith, whose past writing credits include the Oscar-winning film “The Revenant” and the Netflix feature “The Midnight Sky.” Peter Berg will direct all episodes as the first project under his first-look deal with Netflix, with Eric Newman executive producing under his Netflix overall deal.

“American Primeval” is described as “a raw, adventurous exploration of the birth of the American West. The violent collisions of cultures, religions and communities as men and women fight and die for control of this new world – for a land they truly believe is their destiny. The ensemble tells a story of the sacrifice all must pay when they choose to enter a lawless and untamed wilderness.”

“We are very appreciative that Netflix is trusting us to take a big swing with ‘American Primeval,'” Berg said. “I’m looking forward to taking viewers into the most dynamic, intense, and heart pounding survival tale humanly possible. We are going into the belly of the beast. Cheers to Ted, Bela, Peter and the entire Netflix team for the support!”

Kitsch will star in the series as Isaac, said to be “a traumatized man struggling to overcome his demons and find a reason to live in this brutal and punishing world.” This marks the second limited series collaboration for Kitsch, Berg, and Newman, as they also teamed for the upcoming Netflix series “Painkiller,” which is slated to premiere in 2023.

“’American Primeval’ is a portrait of the American West unlike any other – raw, thrilling, action-driven and brought to life by a tapestry of emotionally compelling characters led by the talented Taylor Kitsch,” said Peter Friedlander, vice president of scripted series, US and Canada, for Netflix. “We’re excited to explore new depths of this genre as we grow our creative partnership with the extraordinary Pete Berg at the helm backed by the deft storytelling vision from Eric Newman and Mark L. Smith.”

Berg will executive produce under his Film 44 banner, while Newman will executive produce via Grand Electric. Smith is also an executive producer.

Kitsch is best known for his starring role in the NBC high school football drama “Friday Night Lights” and also recently starred alongside Chris Pratt in the Amazon thriller series “The Terminal List.” His other TV credits include “Waco” and “True Detective” Season 2. He is also known for features like “Lone Survivor,” which was directed and written by Berg. Berg also directed Kitsch in the film “Battleship,” released in 2012.

Kitsch is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment.

In addition to his work with Kitsch, Berg is known for writing and directing the film version of “Friday Night Lights” in addition to developing the TV series. He has also directed films like “Deepwater Horizon,” “Mile 22,” and “Patriots Day,” the last of which he also wrote.

He is repped by WME and Hirsch Wallerstein.

This marks the second announced Netflix project for Newman in recent weeks. Variety exclusively reported that Newman is currently at work on a political thriller limited series for the streamer titled “Zero Day” with Robert De Niro attached to star. Newman was also an executive producer, writer, and showrunner on Netflix’s “Narcos” and then became the showrunner and executive producer on the followup series “Narcos: Mexico.” He is also an executive producer on the upcoming Netflix series “Griselda,” in which Sofía Vergara will play infamous cocaine queenpin Griselda Blanco, and the hit series “The Watcher.”

Newman is repped by CAA, Hansen Jacobson, and Rowe PR. Smith is repped by CAA, Black Bear Management, and attorney Mark S. Temple.

This is also the second Western series that Netflix has ordered in the past few months. Back in October, Netflix picked up the Western drama “The Abandons” from Kurt Sutter, about a group of families in 1850s Oregon.