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With their most explicit recent project Uncut Gems, the Safdie brothers were responsible for pulling off one of the most improbable feats in Hollywood, in which people were legitimately mad that Adam Sandler wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Fans shouldn't expect anything less jaw-dropping with their next project, either, which is an in-development TV comedy about a cursed reality TV couple.
The new project, titled The Curse, is currently set as a half-hour comedy, and the big news this week is that Showtime granted it a pilot order, so there's a decent chance the Safdie brothers will be making their mark on television in the near future. They'll have a TV-friendly face to accompany them, too, as the quirky-minded comedian Nathan Fielder serves as both the co-creator and star of The Curse.
With a plot line I could not love more, The Curse centers on couple that recently got married, and who are also the stars of a home-renovating HGTV show titled Flipanthropy. (That name checks out.) Things would be going smoothly if not for an alleged curse that seems to be dooming the couple and their TV show.
To be expected, Nathan Fielder will be taking on the role of the husband in the Flipanthropy couple, while the female lead has yet to be cast. Meanwhile, Benny Safdie will play a main producer for the faux HGTV show, according to Deadline. Both men, along with Josh Safdie, will serve as executive producers for the pilot, which will be produced by Showtime.
While The Curse apparently isn't meant to be directly based on any specific reality TV stars in HGTV's present or past, it's at least partially reflective of the fractures that spread in Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead's relationship over the years as they worked together on the hit Flip or Flop. On the flip side of that are Chip and Joanna Gaines, the former Fixer Upper couple who have built up a DIY empire in Waco, Texas. It's possible The Curse will take aim at both couples for its comedy.
Though the Safdie brothers are most known for their directing skills, having won Best Director at the Film Independent Spirit Awards for Uncut Gems, it doesn't sound like those skills will be put to work for this project just yet. It's reported that while the siblings would possibly direct episodes in the event that The Curse becomes a full-fledged series, Benny and Josh Safdie will not be helming the pilot.
The Safdie brothers have clearly had a pleasantly tumultuous time in the lead-up to and eventual release of Uncut Gems, which eclipsed the buzz surrounding their 2017 film, the wacky Robert Pattinson vehicle Good Time. They were initially reported to be working on a reboot of the Eddie Murphy classic 48 Hrs, but later reports stated that the project was being retooled as a completely original story. It's not clear how this new project will factor into the timeliness of the feature plans.
Meanwhile, Nathan Fielder emerged as one of the most-watchable comedians on TV in recent years thanks to his one-of-a-kind "reality" show Nathan for You. That series ended in 2017, but Fielder followed it up with behind-the-camera work on Sacha Baron Cohen's Showtime series Who Is America? Having signed an overall deal with HBO last year, Fielder is currently set to executive produce the docu-series How To with John Wilson.
2020 is a big year for Showtime, and the future is looking bright. The network currently boasts a comedy slate with such diverse projects as Don Cheadle and Regina Hall's Black Monday, Jim Carrey's Kidding, and Kirsten Dunst's On Becoming a God in Central Florida, among others. Other comedy pilots in contention for series orders are Vanessa Bayer's Big Deal and Lena Waithe's anthology How to Make Love to a Black Woman (Who May Be Working Through Some Sh*t).
We probably won't hear about The Curse again for a while outside of casting news, so here's hoping everything is quality enough to convince Showtime to bring the comedy to audiences everywhere.