Movies

'Varsity Blues' Series Coming to Quibi, Along with a New Show from Doug Liman

Quibi, the upcoming short-form content streaming service, continues to line-up original programming. The latest: the 1999 movie Varsity Blues will be developed into a series by Stuber screenwriter Tripper Clancy. In addition to that, filmmaker Doug Liman is directed Crazy Talented, a series about patients on a psych ward who might just be superheroes.

Remember Varsity Blues? The 1999 football drama about young people wearing cowboy hats, driving pick-up trucks, and getting angsty as Foo Fighters songs play? Well, it’s back – in Quibi form. The short-form content streaming service from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman is turning the film into a series, with original producers Mike Tollin and Tova Laiter on board, per Deadline. Tripper Clancy (Stuber) will write, and Anne Fletcher (Dumplin’) will direct. Here’s the synopsis of the original film:

In West Canaan, Texas, high school football reigns supreme. When starting quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker) turns up injured, the Coyotes’ ruthless coach, Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight), must promote benchwarmer Jonathon “Mox” Moxon (James Van Der Beek) to lead the team in its quest for a divisional title. Suddenly thrown into the spotlight, Mox must deal with the pressure of carrying the aspirations of an entire town on his shoulders, as he struggles to pursue his own very different dreams.

In other Quibi news, Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) is set to direct Crazy Talented, based off a short story by the novelist Steve Gould, the creator of the Jumper series. The premise: “The world’s most powerful superheroes are trying to stop the world’s most devastating threat – alien weapons falling into the wrong hands and obliterating life as we know it. At least that’s what they’ve been told. In Crazy Talented, patients on a psych ward are convinced by a charismatic leader that their defects are actually extraordinary ‘talents.’ He’s clearly out of his mind. But just because it’s crazy doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

This idea – superheroes in a loony bin – is a bit similar to Glass, M. Night Shyamalan’s hugely disappointing return to the world of Unbreakable. Hopefully this will be better.

Quibi’s short form content is hoping to appeal to people who primarily watch stuff on their phone, and don’t have time to sit down and watch entire thirty-minute to one-hour shows. The service will run you $4.99 a month with advertising and $7.99 without, and feature three types of programming:

  • Quick Bites – Unserialized stories.
  • Daily Essentials – A six-and-a-half-minute news program “curated for your personal tastes” that will have new episodes three times a day.
  • Lighthouses – The platform’s name for the high-profile serialized shows from filmmakers like Spielberg, Paul Feig, Catherine Hardwicke, and more. These projects will be accessible in 7- to 10-minute episodes, and will ultimately range between two to four hours in length.

Quibi is expected to launch in April 2020.

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