Remember back in 2000, when Miley Cyrus was just a chip off her country star father’s old block as the tween icon of Disney’s Hannah Montana? Maturity is a weird thing, and Cyrus has basically done everything possible to distance herself from those more innocent days. Her return to television, oddly enough, will be a departure from both teen comedies and on-stage twerking, as she is set to take on a leading role in Woody Allen’s in-development Amazon series, along with actress and filmmaker Elaine May. Feel free to let that wrecking ball of an announcement bounce around in your head for a sec.
This project was announced quite a while back, but Allen has kept ostensibly mum as far as narrative details are concerned – although he has complained about the process – and this big step forward in casting was the first real sign of proof that the 1960s-set series is actually a thing that will exist. As such, we have no clue what kind of characters Cyrus and May will be playing, but we’re betting that one or both has a complication-heavy relationship.
Even though Cyrus stopped playing Hannah Montana back in 2011, that doesn’t mean she’s been entirely absent from TV as of late. She made an exposed return to the Saturday Night Live stage as a host and musical guest last year, and paired that with a hosting gig at the MTV Video Music Awards. She also showed up on talk shows both in the morning and in late night, and sang with Bill Murray in the Netflix special A Very Murray Christmas. But nothing in her career thus far is comparable to “leading Woody Allen’s first TV series.”
The addition of Elaine May is equally as strange as Miley Cyrus signing on. Her last on-screen role was for Allen’s Small Time Crooks in 2000, which itself came after years away from acting. She also wrote and directed the legendary Hollywood bomb Ishtar, as well as the much better 1971 romantic comedy A New Leaf (pictured above). She also wrote The Birdcage, which is always worth a rewatch. Here’s hoping Allen’s scripts were so good that she couldn’t resist hopping back in front of the camera.
Amazon, still in its award-winning afterglow, has a lot of quality programming on the way, including Season 2 of Man in the High Castle, Season 3 of Transparent and a Galaxy Quest series. The service also just released all 10 Season 1 episodes of Mad Dogs, the latest tension-filled series from The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, which is getting more positive reviews than not. There’s a good chance Woody Allen’s presence could bring even more acclaim and subscribers to Amazon, and Miley Cyrus could attract a viewership that Allen hasn’t had before.
According to Deadline, Woody Allen’s next project is set to begin filming in March, at which point it will hopefully have a proper title and several other WTF names attached to it. My fingers are crossed for Method Man, Robert Durst and the ghost of Andy Kaufman. What do you guys think of Miley Cyrus making her way back to the small screen?