Amazon, Legendary, Brad Pitt to Cinespace?

Amazon, Legendary, Brad Pitt to Cinespace?

Amazon has given the greenlight to a series based on PAPER GIRLS, the sci-fi graphic novels written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang. And the series has a trio of powerhouses behind it, with Amazon Studios being joined by Legendary (BATMAN BEGINS, JURASSIC WORLD, LOST IN SPACE), and Brad Pitt’s Oscar-winning Plan B Entertainment company (MOONLIGHT, THE DEPARTED, SELMA). Naturally, the question now is where and when will this potential blockbuster series shoot. There is justifiable optimism the series may be destined for Chicago's Cinespace Studios.

Derailed by COVID... Now Back on Track?

Prior to the current pandemic that has gripped the film and television industry, sources tell SCREEN that PAPER GIRLS was looking likely for Spring in Chicago. Amazon executives and producers had toured Cinespace extensively, the first season was written, and the studio was making preparations to begin production on this massive series. The plan was for Amazon to take over FARGO stages after FX wrapped up their fourth season of the Chris Rock-led series in early 2020, and PAPER GIRLS would soon be off and running. Obviously, plans changed as production shut down nationwide earlier this year.

Jump to today, and with the greenlight in place for PAPER GIRLS, there is still optimism the series will land in Chicago in the months ahead. Sources tell SCREEN Amazon is still very positive about bringing the series to town and could possibly even film two seasons of the graphic novel adaptation at Cinespace in 2021. That being said, there has been no movement in recent weeks, and as Screen reported earlier this month, all eyes are on the FARGO restart beginning August 24 and the CHICAGO FIRE return to set in September. A clean bill of health from those sets could certainly impact the landing spot and production schedule for PAPER GIRLS.

It should go without saying that nothing is certain these days and plenty of factors could dramatically change the course of production for PAPER GIRLS. That being said, there is enough optimism to warrant placing this Amazon potential blockbuster on your radar as we forge ahead into the new year.

All You Need to Know About PAPER GIRLS

So what is PAPER GIRLS? “We describe it as STAND BY ME meets TERMINATOR,” said writer and co-creator Brian K. Vaughan in a past interview with Entertainment Weekly. “It’s a story about nostalgia and childhood, but with an action-packed, sci-fi bent.”

Written by Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang (WONDER WOMAN), PAPER GIRLS is a 30-issue comic series about a friend group of newspaper delivery girls who get more than they bargained for while making their routes on Halloween 1988. Caught in the midst of a conflict between warring factions of time travelers, the girls embark on an adventure through time to save the world. Vaughan and Chiang will be executive producers on the television series, alongside TOY STORY 4 writer Stephany Folsom and HALT & CATCH FIRE co-creators Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers. Folsom is also set to head up the writing team, while Cantwell and Rogers will serve as co-showrunners.

“As huge fans of what Brian and Cliff created in PAPER GIRLS, we couldn’t be more excited by the opportunity to bring this incredible adventure to life,” Folsom, Cantwell, and Rogers said in a group statement. “This is a story with so much heart, and so many unique colors and dimensions – our sincere hope is not only to do justice to the source material, but to make PAPER GIRLS unlike anything else currently on TV.”

For a deep dive into what you might expect to see from this original Amazon series, take a look at leading pop culture critic Matt Draper's deep dive into Vaughan and Chiang's comic series, exploring its themes of nostalgia, maturity, and what it means to make the most of our short lives:

There are many more announcements ahead for PAPER GIRLS, and as those developments surface, please check back here at Screen Magazine for the latest updates on this Amazon series.