New streaming service HBO Max is wasting no time in shoring up its offerings of original content, ordering three new pilots for an eclectic slate of projects.
The buzziest among them is "The Rules of Magic," a prequel to the 1998 film "Practical Magic," which starred Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock as sisters who embrace their family's knack for witchcraft, with the guidance of their aunts (played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest). The series will be based on author Alice Hoffman's novels "Rules of Magic" and "Practical Magic," and be shepherded by Melissa Rosenberg (Netflix's "Jessica Jones") and Dana Baratta.
Here's the official logline, per Deadline:
In this epic, generational family drama set in 1960s New York City, three troubled siblings — Franny, Jet and Vincent Owens — wrestle with “abnormalities” that have kept them isolated. But the tumultuous times unearth the extraordinary discovery that they are, in fact, descendants of a bloodline of witches. In their aspirational journey towards self-discovery and self-acceptance, they’ll contend with grief, war, bigotry and dark magic, not to mention a centuries-old curse designed to keep them away from love. The two sisters, Franny and Jet, will become the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in 'Practical Magic,' while their beloved brother, Vincent, will leave an unexpected legacy.
The next series, "Generation," is a half-hour dramedy created by Zelda Barnz, the 17-year-old daughter of writer-director Daniel Barnz ("Beastly," "Cake") and producer Ben Barnz ("Cake"). Lena Dunham will co-produce along with Zelda, Daniel, and Ben.
Deadline reports that the idea for the series "reportedly grew out of Zelda’s desire to see herself honestly (not sensationally) represented and to give herself and her peers an authentic voice."
The show's logline states:
A dark yet playful half-hour, GENERATION follows a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community.
And finally, the one-hour YA drama "Red Bird Lane" will also get a pilot. The show is described as a "Morality and psychological horror series about eight strangers who arrive at an isolated house—all for different reasons—and quickly realize that something sinister and terrifying awaits them."
Sara Gran ("Southland") will serve as writer and showrunner. John Wells ("ER," "The West Wing," "Southland") will also co-executive produce.
Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman), born into a magical family, have mostly avoided witchcraft themselves. But when Gillian's vicious boyfriend, Jimmy Angelov (Goran Visnjic), dies unexpectedly, the Owens sisters give themselves a crash course in hard magic. With policeman Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn) growing suspicious, the girls struggle to resurrect Angelov -- and unwittingly inject his corpse with an evil spirit that threatens to end their family line. Read More