FOX hopes it has found it’s next X-Files in the form of Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams‘ Fringe. Reuters is reporting that the script for the science fiction pilot has been at the center of an intense bidding war in Hollywood for the past few months, and FOX has emerged as the winner of the property. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions will produce the pilot at Warner Brothers with a budge of $10 million. Yes that rivals the budget of Lost, but with the U.S. dollar now actually worth less than the Canadian dollar, maybe not so much.
The deal is a pause in a long run of partnerships between Abrams and ABC, which includes Alias, Lost, What About Brian, Six Degrees, and the recently announced Boundaries, which is written by Six Feet Under scribe Jill Soloway.
Fringe is the product of collaboration between Abrams and Transformers screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The script deals with the dark side of science. “Science is frightening and enlightening at the same time,” Orci said. “It can give you everything, and it can destroy you.”
From FOX’s perspective, their search for the next X-Files couldn’t have been more adept. Fringe revolves around, you guessed it, an FBI agent investigating an explosion of paranormal activity that has government officials baffled.
In what little info exists regarding the plot, we learn that the lead is a female agent who winds up working with an institutionalized scientist who was apparently locked away for his belief in the very same forces that seem to be threatening the world.
FOX execs are frothing at the mouth to get the project on the road and seem to be throwing unprecedented support behind the production. The X-Files ran successfully on the network for nine years and was arguably the victim of its own success, ending with decent numbers but an impossibly demanding and expensive cast.
FOX is hoping Fringe, with it’s distinctive science fiction sensibilities and a solid character driven core will reawaken the rabidly loyal audiences that once flocked around The X-files.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of Reuters)