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Dick, Tick, Van Johnson set for Amazon

An adaptation of cult novel I LoveDick, a superhero series starring Peter Serafinowicz and a spoof starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as an movie star moonlighting as a private contractor are all set to pilot at Amazon Studios.

Amazon Prime Video’s half-hour comedy pilot trio – I Love Dick, The Tick and Jean-Claude Van Johnson – will debut on August 19, with customer feedback helping to decide which become series.

I Love Dick is based on a book that describes the relationship between men and women. It is set in a “colourful intellectual community” and follows a couple (Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne) who move to Marfa, Texas in order for the man to complete a book on the holocaust. There they meet Dick (Kevin Bacon), who messes with their imaginations and preconceptions of live and monogamy.

Jill Soloway and Andrea Sperling (both Transparent) executive produce along with Sarah Gubbins. Soloway directs the pilot, withGubbins writing.

The Tick is a superhero series coproduced by Sony Pictures Television in which an underdog account teams with a strange blue superhero (Serafinowicz) after realising his city is owned by a global supervillain long thought dead.

Ben Edlund (Supernatural), Barry Josephson (Bones) and Barry Sonnenfeld (A Series of Unfortunate Events) executive produce, with Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight) directing. Edlund wrote the pilot.

Jean-Claude Van Johnson, meanwhile, comes from Scott Free Productions and features action movie veteran Van Damme as an internationally recognised film star who returns to a previous secretlife as a private contractor capable of eliminating politicians, debilitating multi-national companies and overthrowing entire governments.

Peter Atencio (Key and Peele) directs and executive produces. Ridley Scott (TheGood Wife), David W. Zucker (The Man in the High Castle) and Van Damme also EP. Dave Callaham (Mortal Kombat) is the writer.

“Nowhere else will voices as influential as Jill Soloway and Jean-Claude Van Damme share a stage,” said Joe Lewis, head of half-hour series, Amazon Studios. “And that’s just the Js. We’re excited to bring such a diverse slate of pilots to customers and we can’t wait to hear what they think.”

Lewis recently hired HBO’s Nick Hall to become Amazon Studios’ head of comedy development, a role that involves leading all half-hour comedies.

In related news, Amazon is said to be in talks with Bollywood studios and indies about its original content plans in India, where it is expected to launch imminently.

The Factor Daily reported Amazon would pump US$300 million into original films and series from the territory. Amazon CEO Jeff Beszos recently committed to spending US$3 billion to build an Indian business.

The report notes Amazon quietly hired Cinestaan Film Company’s Aparna Purohit as creative director for Amazon Prime Video in India.

Amazon is reportedly in discussions with the likes of Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms and Yash Raj Productions.