Warner Bros. Television is developing a limited series about Buster Keaton with Oscar and Emmy winner Rami Malek set to play the silent comedy movie star.
In addition, “The Batman” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” helmer Matt Reeves is set to direct and produce through his 6th & Idaho Productions label.
Born in a vaudeville family, he quickly became one of silent cinema’s most iconic stars and filmmakers – adept at physical comedy accompanied by a stoic, deadpan expression along with fully grasping visual storytelling and cinema in ways very few did at the time. Throughout the 1920s, he essentially worked without interruption and delivered such movies as “Sherlock Jr.,” “Steamboat Bill Jr.,” “Cops” and his masterpiece “The General”.
His career waned after he signed with MGM and lost his artistic independence, leading to him becoming an alcoholic divorcee. He rebounded in the 1940s, though and he scored an Academy Honorary Award in 1959 and to this day remains an inspirer of many filmmakers from Mel Brooks to Martin Scorsese.
Three-time Emmy winner Ted Cohen (“Succession,” Veep”) is in negotiations to write and serve as an executive producer on the project, which also has Malek, David Weddle, Daniel Pipski and Rafi Crohn as executive producers.
The series is looking to adapt renowned biographer James Curtis’ “Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life” book for its source material, with negotiations underway by the studio to secure the book. The project will be shopped to streamers and networks.