Expect a lot more Top 5 lists and a lot less cynical music pretentiousness (I’m looking at you, Barry) — Disney is planning a gender-swapped romantic comedy series inspired by Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel High Fidelity and the 2000 feature adaptation for its upcoming streaming service. Writers Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka‘s (Bull, Ugly Betty) series looks to capture the romantic comedy and authentic spirit of the book/film with a friendly, optimistic tone.
While the original 2000 film was rated R, Disney is looking for a much more lighthearted “mixtape/diary rom-com” series, with a PG-13 rating for family co-viewing. This would keep it consistent with Disney’s plans for a family-friendly service that’s free of R-rated movies or series. Scott Rosenberg, who co-wrote the High Fidelity feature, and Midnight Radio will produce the series alongside ABC Signature Studios (SMILF), the cable/streaming division of ABC Studios.
As Disney prepares to launch its new streaming service in Fall 2019, they continue looking to their library of properties — including Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm — for programming ideas. Disney has already announced Star Wars, Marvel and Monsters Inc. series; as well as a High School Musical reboot and possibly a new Muppets series from Muppet Studios. Disney’s service will also feature thousands of hours of the media giant’s films and television programming. As previously reported, Disney’s goal is to generate four to five original movies and five TV series during its freshman year, with series budgets expected to cost between $25 million-$35 million for 10 episodes; with a large, potential “tent pole” series possible being capped out at $100 million for a 10-episode season.
Directed by Stephen Frears and starring co-screenwriter John Cusack (Better Off Dead), 2000’s High Fidelity featured Cusack’s Rob Gordon, a music store owner who can’t seem to make his relationships last so he decides to seek out some of his old flames with the hope of getting some answers. Jack Black, Lisa Bonet, Joelle Carter, Joan Cusack, Sara Gilbert, Iben Hjejle, Tim Robbins, Todd Louiso and Lili Taylor round out the cast.