The ‘Mindy Project’ writer and star will adapt the rom-com classic into a TV-friendly anthology format.
Anthology series are enjoying something of a boom at the moment. In a saturated TV environment, shows like Feud and American Crime Story offer something different: the chance for audiences to dip their toes into a particular brand of storytelling without having to commit to potential years of watching before finally getting plot closure.
Equally as popular is the trend of converting feature films into TV shows; think of Westworld, Bates Motel, Snatch, Lethal Weapon and the Scream franchise (which has just been newly anthologized in time for its third season). The latter included, not many shows sit at the nexus of these two trends, but of them, the most successful so far have been Fargo, the crime anthology based on the based on the Coen brothers’ black comedy classic.
Now, as Deadline are reporting, another ’90s feature favorite is set to receive the big-to-small-screen anthology treatment. A TV show based on romantic comedy classic Four Weddings and a Funeral is in the works at Hulu, where the idea is to develop multiple series based on different storylines (and possibly set in different locations, with the same lead character as the common element). Mindy Kaling (The Office) and her Mindy Project showrunner Matt Warburton are set to write the hour-long series based on the well-loved Brit flick. Richard Curtis, the original movie’s writer, will join Kaling and Warburton as executive producer.
The feature film, which stars Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, has a supporting cast that includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Rowan Atkinson, and Simon Callow and was a box office smash when it was released in 1994. Helmed by Mike Newell and with a script from rom-com king Curtis, Four Weddings and a Funeral follows Charles (Grant), who becomes increasingly smitten with an American acquaintance, Carrie (MacDowell), as the two repeatedly cross paths at the titular events.
Four Weddings helped cement Grant as the go-to actor when bumbling male rom-com leads were required (think: Notting Hill and Love Actually). While there’s no mention of Kaling starring in this reboot, she does bring with her a similar reputation of being a genre authority: her rom-com-loving Office character Kelly Kapoor is nearly indistinguishable from her rom-com-loving Mindy Project character, who is, incidentally, not that dissimilar from the multi-hyphenate Kaling’s own public persona. Having written a New Yorker op-ed detailing her deep desire to write a script in the vein of the implausible romance movies she loves so much, this will undoubtedly be something of a dream come true for Kaling.
As Deadline report it, Kaling was handpicked by executive producers as the reboot’s writer because of her genuine passion for the genre and her screenwriting skill (she cut her teeth in the Office’s writers’ room). It also helps that Kaling is a self-confessed fan of the original movie:
@jackburditt Vicky Christina Barcelona, Bridget Jones, Clueless, Think Like A Man, Four Weddings & a Funeral, Much Ado About Nothing
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) April 27, 2013
Apparently, the vision for the series (which is still in development) involves a group of friends who, as in the film, serendipitously meet at five ceremonies. As mentioned before, each season would follow a different story arc and would possibly include different characters, so Four Weddings’ eclectic wealth of the latter would come in useful here. Aside from Grant and MacDowell’s leads, the movie features four newlyweds, two jilted lovers, a gay widower, and several perpetual wedding guests. There’s plenty of material here to fill a number of seasons should Hulu green-light the show early next year, when a decision is expected.
If it does go into production, the Four Weddings TV reboot would be one of many projects helping to fill the Mindy Project-shaped vacancy in Kaling’s life that will open up when the Hulu series airs its final episode this month. On top of becoming a mother for the first time and starring in A Wrinkle in Time and Ocean’s Eight, Kaling is already busy on an impossible number of projects: she’s currently working on Late Night, a feature that will co-star another favorite British export (Emma Thompson), and several comedy series for NBC. This latest addition to her hectic line-up only adds to the evidence that Kaling is one of the most tireless in the biz.