“You have no brain. No judgement calls are necessary. What you think means nothing. What you feel means nothing. You are here for me. You are here to protect my interests and to serve my needs.”
That’s the iconic line spewed by a toxic movie producer to his rattled assistant in “Swimming With Sharks,” the 1994 George Huang film. Within the industry, the movie has been referenced as hyperrealistic and the subject of many inside jokes. Today, however, Variety can exclusively reveal the first trailer for a full-stop reboot of the property from creator Kathleen Robertson.
A flagship original from Roku, the current “Swimming With Sharks” brings two forces to be reckoned with in Diane Kruger, the take-no-prisoners studio chief, and Kiernan Shipka, her cunning intern who will stop at nothing to become her professional idol. The series will drop in full on April 15 on The Roku Channel.
“When it was first brought to me, I just didn’t really know how to approach this in a way that felt like we needed this in 2022,” Robertson said during a recent discussion with Variety. “The movie definitely hit a chord all those years ago, and the only way to use this as something worth telling right now would be to do it from a female perspective. Through the eyes of these two very complex, ambitious, interesting women.”
In character, Kruger is all ice and decisiveness, doing what it takes to ascend to the head of her studio. Shipka, far more capable and aware of her surroundings than she lets on, matches her step by step.
“They’ll both do what it takes to get ahead, I think that’s something most people in Hollywood — to a certain extent — can identify with. What drew me to the to the role was this injection that Kathleen did of vulnerability, because [my character] thinks she can control everything in her life.”
Roku viewers will see how far that goes come April. The series costars Donald Sutherland, Thomas Dekker, Finn Jones, Erika Alexander, Ross Butler and Gerardo Celasco. Tucker Gates directed. Chris Cowles, Liz Destro, Stephen Israel, Jay Cohen and Dana Brunetti served as executive producers. “Swimming With Sharks” was created in partnership with Lionsgate Television.
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