With The Boys and other counter-culture movements in regards to superhero productions being all the rage, Warner Bros. HBO division has given a pilot order to The Franchise. Created by director Sam Mendes and Armando Iannucci, the pilot order will explore superhero movie-making from a comedic standpoint. It’s unclear if this is purely meant to mock the current franchise market or generally go directly mock current tentpole franchises, but the description of the series is as follows according to Deadline:
The half-hour project takes a wry look at superhero movie-making. It follows a hopeful crew trapped inside the dysfunctional, nonsensical, joyous hellscape of franchise superhero movie-making. If and when they finally make the day, the question they must face — is this Hollywood’s new dawn or cinema’s last stand? Is this a dream factory or a chemical plant?
The timing also comes as Iannucci’s Avenue 5 comedy is coming to an end, which will see him then executive produce the new HBO series through the Dundee Productions banner. Jon Brown is attached to serve as showrunner, writer, and executive producer. Mendes is going to direct the pilot episode but no further details or castings are known.
It’s a shame that no one that worked on a superhero franchise is seemingly involved to offer a true behind-the-curtains experience, as it may only offer an outsider’s perspective that is quite focused on one takeaway potentially. Yet, with the comedy team behind it, there’s potential it’ll offer a balanced look at the highs and lows of the concept.
The timing is interesting, as Iannucci also just recently debut a Spider-Man story in Amazing Fantasy #1000. Mendes was also once approached to direct Marvel’s The Avengers back in 2012 before Joss Whedon took on the role. Superheroes are all the rage right now and it’s no surprise that someone will try to bank on that very concept. We’ll have to see what the production has in store and if HBO moves forward with a series order, but banking on the success of superheroes by making a series about making superhero films sounds like the next step in the overall genre trend.