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:
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'.