Writer-director David Ayer is all over the place these days. He’s (supposedly) making Gotham City Sirens for WB, writing a Training Day TV series for Fox, directing Bright for Netflix, and now he’s cut a deal with Starz for his latest project, Family Crimes.
According to Deadline, Family Crimes is a spec project that’s drawn a lot of interest around Hollywood that eventually caught on with Jerry Bruckheimer Television. Ayer would be an executive producer on the project if it goes to series, and word is that the drama is already getting a greenlight and assembling a writer’s room.
The series focuses on a young, affluent Latina who assumes responsibility for the family business, which is connected to the Mexican underworld (and under scrutiny by the government). Her character becomes entrapped in an escalating criminal and political conspiracy. This sounds like serious and emotional stuff, which isn’t exactly the sandbox that Ayer’s been playing in over the last few years; perhaps Family Crimes is an effort by Ayer to return to his crime-and-cops roots?
If this concept doesn’t sound particularly fresh, there’s good reason. There are several other ongoing TV dramas of similar tone and style, including Queen Sugar on OWN, Empire on Fox, Claws on TNT, and Ozark on Netflix (to name just a handful of existing shows in this vein). Starz has a pretty diverse lineup of shows, so it’s unclear why this particular show appealed to them; however, Deadline indicates that Starz is focused on connecting with Hispanic audiences (for example, Starz recently gave a series order to Vida, a drama about Mexican-American sisters).
Starz is also battling to defend their turf against HBO, Showtime, and all of the other streaming and cable networks out there. Their profile improved recently with the hit adapatation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and ongoing series like Power, Outlander, The Girlfriend Experience, and Ash vs. Evil Dead. Ayer’s Family Crimes doesn’t appear to stand-out from that list of shows, but let’s see what the casting and pilot look like before we pass judgment.
Ayer certainly has a track-record of film and television projects dealing with urban crime, including Harsh Times, S.W.A.T., End of Watch, Sabotage, and Training Day — and his highly-anticipated Bright also covers similar inner-city ground (albeit populated with Tolkien-like characters). Family Crimes doesn’t strike me as terribly unique or innovative stuff, but it would be a mistake to underestimate a creative like Ayer, who brings undeniable energy and intensity to his projects.
Are you interested in a new TV crime drama by the writer-director of Suicide Squad? Me either. Let us know in the comments down below!
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