Monday, April 30, 2007

Everything Old Is New Again?

There was a new pilot shot last month for The CW (directed by Kevin Smith) entitled 'Reaper'. Here's the overview from Cinematical:
Kevin Smith Directing Satanic Television Pilot

Primarily known as a writer, director, and occasional star of motion pictures, Smith will direct the pilot episode of The Reaper for the CW Network. The show is about a 21-year old slacker named Sam Oliver, who finds out that around the time of his birth, his parents sold his soul to the devil. Personally, I'm hoping this kid has his therapist on speed-dial. To repay the debt, Oliver must become a bounty hunter for Satan and track down souls that have escaped from hell.

The story -- which reminds me a bit of the short-lived 1998-1999 TV series 'Brimstone'-- was written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. The pilot will shoot for two weeks in Vancouver beginning March 12.

Hmmmm... speaking of shooting in Vancouver, 'Reaper' sounds an awful lot like 'The Collector' - a CHUM series from a couple years ago:
The Collector

Centuries ago, Morgan Pym made a deal with Satan: his soul, in exchange for 10 years with his one true love. After she died, Morgan - desperate to avoid an eternity in hell - agreed to become a Collector, charged with collecting souls from those who'd made deals with Satan. Morgan works the Vancouver area, and his deal with the devil includes one additional clause: Morgan is allowed 48 hours with each client to try and redeem them before they are condemned to hell...

Okay, not identical...but similar, no? However, in an interview with Smith he: "...describes the series as “less 'Brimstone' or 'Dead Like Me' (as some have suggested) and more 'Shaun of the Dead' than anything else. A. The script is funny, and B. I’ve always been curious about trying my hand at directing something I didn’t write. Never had an interest in doing that on the big screen, but 'Reaper' presented an excellent opportunity to give it a go in a smaller, yet, ironically, far larger, pond.”

Funny, huh...well, that would definitely set it apart from 'The Collector' - but still...

Smith just blogged yesterday a little bit about the experience...
God, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to blog - and I mean really blog, not just pimp a SModcast (episode 11 of which is available later today). Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Spent almost a month up in Vancouver, working on the “Reaper” pilot for the CW. Apparently, the show turned out well, and is testing great. The network seems to really dig it, so there’s an excellent chance you’ll be able to peep the show in the fall.

Was weird, but interesting, shooting someone else’s script. I feel I did a pretty good job (elevating, not simply executing), but ultimately, it’s not for me. I’m a writer, first and foremost; that’s where my heart lies. Still, it was a worthwhile exercise to take (and about the only exercise I’ve done in a year), and all seem happy with the results...

What do you bet this replaces 'Smallville' to be paired with 'Supernatural'...we shall see...but must be nice to consider the privilege of directing a pilot a 'worthwhile exercise'.



DMc said...

Will. Great post.

I'm drowning in fanfic hate.

You want to take a shot at explaining the concept of "the execution of similar ideas" being the operative thing -- like the basis for copyright law and the like?

Or are you just going to let me sink beneath the waves?

c'mon. help a brother out.

I'm linking to this tomorrow. there.

wcdixon said... couldn't honestly believe you could toss out the 'I hate fanfic' bone (with the implication that all those who write such shite should be taken out back and...well, you know) and not get swamped?

But I will never stand by and watch a compadre drown...

jimhenshaw said...

You cannot drown the MIGHTY MANATEE! Especially not with his trusty sidekick THE DRYLANDER at his side. The world of fanfic obviously has no hope if you two tag-team 'em.

But I digress...

"The Reaper" is also identical to a character on "The Immortal" which was immortally and memorably played in several episodes by Brett "The Hitman" Hart. Bounty Hunter (and in this version an actual cowboy) dispatched by Satan to retrieve sold souls trying to escape or go straight.

Man, isn't it great to see all the fresh new ideas emerging for the fall?

CAROLINE said...

Very good post. I have nothing useful to add except to say that I like the new pic ... it's fittingly red and demonic-vibing to go with the post (seriously, you look good).

D, you are sometimes you own worst enemy. Why must you always poke the crazy? You just can't help yourself, and then you wonder why it all goes to ratshit.

DMc said...

I love poking the crazy.
It's a character flaw.
I've admitted as much.
What, you want I should try the crack?

Kelly J. Compeau said...

I emailed The Collector co-creator Jon Cooksey (he's like my adopted uncle) when I first heard about Reaper last Fall. He seemed both amused and slightly perturbed at how similar the two shows are. Interestingly enough, he says he'd never even heard of Brimstone when he was developing The Collector several years ago.

The Film Diva said...

I read THE REAPER and it is funny as hell. Not really like the other two shows you were talking about. It'll be interesting to see what Kevin's take on SHAUN OF THE DEAD is, but the humor is definitely full-on snark. I actually laughed out loud at a few of the jokes.