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It’s not everyday that movie stars sign on to lend their acting prowess to a regular gig on a television show, but that very thing has just happened for the half hour dark comedy, Maniac. The show has nabbed Emma Stone and Jonah Hill for roles on the show.
According to Deadline, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone are very close to finalizing their deals to star in Maniac for Paramount TV and Anonymous Content. Director Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation and the first season of HBO’s True Detective) would helm the series. The director will executive produce the series along with Hill and Stone.
Maniac is based on a 2014 Norwegian series of the same name about a man who lives a wonderful life. He’s in his thirties and everyday is like a party; with exciting experiences and every problem easy to handle. The only problem is that this life is only in his dreams. In reality, he’s a patient in a mental institution. His vivid imagination, though, sees him taking down Hitler, slaying zombies and scoring the winning touchdown. In the original Norwegian show, the man’s world has only come apart recently, since he’s only been institutionalized for less than a year. Emma Stone and Jonah Hill will both be signing up to play fellow patients at the institution.
Emma Stone made her debut on The New Partridge Family in 2005 and went on to appear in shows like Medium, Malcolm in the Middle and Lucky Louie before getting her role in the raunchy comedy hit Superbad in 2007. Since then, she’s become a bona fide superstar with leading parts in films like Zombieland, Easy A, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Help and the rebooted Spider-Man series with The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel. In 2015 she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Birdman.
Jonah Hill got his start on camera with an appearance in I Heart Huckabees, and then had roles in a variety of projects, including NYPD Blue, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Evan Almighty. He also starred in Superbad and has nabbed starring roles in Cyrus, Get Him to the Greek, 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street. In 2012 and 2014 he received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street respectively.
No doubt Maniac is billed as a dark comedy because it deals with mental illness, and a director like Cary Fukunaga sounds like a good fit. He deftly handled the intense, freaky and sometimes rather scary moments of True Detective, and the lighter moments on the show with ease and helped make the combination of the two moods fit together just right. And, since Emma Stone and Jonah Hill have experience with broad and subtle comedy, and dramas of various stripes, they should be more than equipped to handle the dark aspects of the comedy.
There’s no word yet on when or where Maniac will debut, but we’ll keep you apprised of any developments as they arise.