“Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster.”
To that effect, God must be heading up NBC, as the network is setting everything on fire and starting development on a series adaptation of Taylor Hackford’s off the rails 1997 supernatural drama The Devil’s Advocate. You know, the one where Al Pacino turns from a debonair smoothtalker into a raging devil incarnate. Okay, so that’s probably 40 percent of his cinematic output. This is the one where Keanu Reeves plays a dull, lifeless…well, you know what I’m talking about.
According to Deadline, NBC has given the project a pilot commitment, though the creative team behind The Devil’s Advocate almost certainly warrants a full series order in the future. Spearheading the project are Oscar-winning producer Arnold Kopelson (Platoon, Se7en) and Emmy winner John Wells (The West Wing). (Wells also successfully transported the hit British series Shameless for Showtime.) Writing the pilot is Matt Venne, whose biggest works to date include the Bag of Bones miniseries and the upcoming horror sequel The Haunting of Molly Hartley.
It’s assumed that this potential series wouldn’t just tell an A-B-C story like the film did. In it, Reeves plays Kevin Lomax, an up-and-coming Southern lawyer who signs with a New York law firm, where he finds himself working for John Milton (Pacino), a man who gets what he wants when he wants it. (Spoiler: it’s because he’s Satan.) Kevin starts spending more time at work doing morally questionable duties, avoiding spending time with his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) and fantasizing about a coworker. As this isn’t really a mystery, I feel no remorse in saying the scene where Pacino reveals his underworldly origins to Kevin is one of cinema’s most ridiculously glorious sequences. Relive it below.
The Devil’s Advocate was a big success, taking in over $150 million on a $57 million budget. And there is admittedly material to mine out of some relatively innocent young sap forming a working relationship with the devil. Assuming, of course, that they find actors who are actually able to pull off the accents they are given, or that all accents are nullified from the script going forward. (Reeves and Theron as southerners are less convincing than an Onion story.) Want to listen to people funnier than me rail on The Devil’s Advocate? Listen to the always hilarious podcast How Did This Get Made? below.
This project is still in the early stages, so who knows what might happen between now and The Devil’s Advocate actually making it to TV. A plague of frogs or two, perhaps?