[06/10/11 - 10:40 PM] Development Update: Friday, June 10 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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I, CLAUDIUS (HBO, New!) - The pay channel is set to team with BBC2 for a mini-series adaptation of Robert Graves's novel of the same name. Jane Tranter and Anne Thomopoulos ("Rome") are behind the project, which will once again track the life of the Roman emperor. Jack Pulman spearheaded the book's Emmy-winning 1976 adaptation, which starred Derek Jacobi in the title role. "I, Claudius" was previously shopped as a potential feature with director Jim Sheridan, screenwriter William Monahan, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and producer Scott Rudin all being attached at one point or another. No writing and directing auspices for the new TV incarnation were given.
KNUCKLE (HBO) - Irvine Welsh ("Trainspotting") has been tapped to pen the pilot, about "two Irish families who settle a longstanding dispute by periodically engaging in bare-knuckle bouts, beating each other to bloody pulps, and focuses on two brothers, James Quinn and Michael McDonagh." Said effort is based on Ian Palmer's documentary of the same name, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Jody Hill is on board to direct the half-hour should it move forward alongside his Rough House Pictures partners Danny McBride and David Gordon Green.
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC) - Co-star Ice-T has inked a new deal to continue as Odafin "Fin" Tutuola on the veteran drama for another two seasons. "EXCLUSIVE: I've just locked in my new SVU deal," the actor posted to his Twitter account. "So I'll officially be back for the next 2 years at least. DONE." Said development comes on the heels of Christopher Meloni's departure from the series last month.
TOUCH (FOX) - Gugu Mbatha-Raw ("Undercovers") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about an unassuming baggage handler at JFK (Kiefer Sutherland) who discovers that his autistic, mute son (David Mazouz) can predict events before they happen. She'll play Clea Hopkins, a social worker who insists on doing an evaluation of the family's living situation. Danny Glover also stars in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Francis Lawrence is directing from a script by Tim Kring.
UGLY BETTY (ABC) - Developer/executive producer Silvio Horta has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. The pact calls for the writer/producer, who was previously based at ABC Studios, to develop new series projects for the studio. Already in the works is an untitled hour at FOX - potentially produced by Jennifer Lopez - about three Cuban-American sisters in Miami with interconnected love lives.