HBO Orders a Superhero Movie-Making Comedy From Sam Mendes and Armando Iannucci

Audiences adore superhero movies more than any other genre, which the box office numbers confirm. However, will fans want to look at the dysfunctional moments behind the scenes with the cast and crew of said films? HBO is looking to spotlight the troubles a production goes through in the process of creating the Hollywood blockbusters that break box office records year after year.

According to Variety’s reportsThe Franchise is receiving an order for a pilot episode from HBO. Armando Iannucci is producing and overseeing the series while Sam Mendes helms the first episode. They describe the series as following a ‘hopeful crew trapped inside the dysfunctional, nonsensical, joyous hellscape of franchise superhero movie-making. If and when they finally make the day, the question they must face — is this Hollywood’s new dawn or cinema’s last stand? Is this a dream factory or a chemical plant?’


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Variety’s sources say Sam Mendes is the one who came up with the original idea for the project, with the pilot being written by Jon Brown, Keith Akushie, and Armando Iannucci. The pilot will be the first time Mendes has directed for television, although he’s had a successful career in feature films. The Franchise will be executive produced by Iannucci, Mendes, Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown, and Julie Pastor. Here’s to hoping HBO can keep this one on their slate following the approval of a full-series order.

What Will Mendes and Iannucci Bring To The Franchise

Iannucci was an obvious choice for The Franchiseas he’s best known for creating the critically acclaimed HBO political satire series, Veep. The show, which began airing in 2012, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as she finds out that being the Vice President of the United States is nothing like she hoped and everything that everyone ever warned her about. Veep is an American adaptation of Iannucci’s British sitcom, The Thick of It. During its seven-season run, Veep garnered 17 Emmys, proving itself as one of the most successful comedies on the air. Iannucci will use everything he’s learned thus far through his career to parody franchises like the MCU and DCEU in The Franchisepointing out some of the ridiculousness of superhero filmmaking.

Related: Veep: Where the Cast is Today

However, Sam Mendes, on the other hand, does not have nearly as much experience in comedy. His directorial credits include American Beauty, Jarhead, skyfall, Spectreand 1917. Although he lacks a background in humor, the longtime filmmaker knows everything about big-budget action movies. His work on two of the Daniel Craig 007 movies will surely be a source from which he could pull material, and the notoriously tricky production of 1917 should give the director something to work with too.

Fans of the filmmaker will hope The Franchise sees the light of day and receives the official green light from HBO at some point in the future.

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