Showtime has given a series order to drama pilot Yellowjackets, from writers Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, Entertainment One and studio-based producer Drew Comins. Jonathan Lisco (Animal Kingdom, Halt and Catch Fire) has come on board as executive producer and co-showrunner alongside creators/executive producers Lyle and Nickerson on the series, which stars Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Tawny Cypress. Production will start early next year in Vancouver for a 2021 debut on the network.
Equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama, Yellowjackets is the saga of a team of wildly talented high school female soccer players who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to savage clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together nearly 25 years later, proving that the past is never really past and what began out in the wilderness is far from over.
Ella Purnell, Sammi Hanratty, Sophie Thatcher, Sophie Nélisse, Steven Krueger and Jasmin Savoy Brown also star in Yellowjackets, described tonally as Big Little Lies meets Lord of the Flies.
Karyn Kusama, who directed the pilot, executive produces alongside Comins of Creative Engine. eOne is the studio.
Yellowjackets landed at Showtime for development in 2018 in a competitive situation and was picked up to pilot a year later. The project was an original idea by Lyle and Nickerson, which was pursued by multiple producers, with the duo ultimately partnering with Comins via his deal at eOne.
“Yellowjackets is a genre-bending, riveting story told across time periods, exploring the journeys of these women at two of the most formative times in their lives,” said Jana Winograde, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks. “We have an unbelievable cast, led by Juliette, Christina, Melanie and Tawny, in a series that’s going to leave you on the edge of your seat with every episode.”
Early on, Yellowjackets was on a parallel development track to Amazon’s YA drama The Wilds, about teen girls stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. Both shot pilots and were picked up to series; The Wilds just premiered on Prime Video.
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