EXCLUSIVE: In a six-way bidding war, Hulu has landed Phony, a half-hour project from Marcel the Shell with Shoes On co-writer Nick Paley. Hulu would not comment, but I hear the project, which has been laid off at ABC Signature, has received a script-to-series commitment with a big, high-six/low-seven-figure penalty. ABC Signature-based Drew Goddard, writer of The Martian and creator of Marvel’s Daredevil series, is joining as an executive producer.
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Written by Paley, Phony is a coming-of-age mystery described as Freaks and Geeks trapped in The Twilight Zone. It follows Sonny, a popular high school kid who wakes up after a strange car accident and discovers his mom has been replaced by an impostor.
Paley executive produces alongside former feature executive Charlie Alderman through his newly formed Charlie’s Production Company, as well as Goddard and Sarah Esberg through Goddard’s ABC Signature-based Goddard Textiles production company.
Paley made his feature writing debut with 2021 indie breakout Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, which he co-penned with the film’s director Dean Fleischer Camp and Jenny Slate based a series of shorts written by Slate and Fleischer Camp. He is repped by Range Media Partners and attorney Victoria Cook and Marcie Cleary of Frankfurt Kurnit.
Goddard recently served as director and executive produced on NBC’s acclaimed high-concept comedy The Good Place. He is repped by UTA.
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