Nancy Drew pilot adds Maddison Jaizani & Alex Saxon
Deadline is reporting that The CW’s Nancy Drew pilot has cast Maddison Jaizani (Versailles, Into the Badlands, Tyrant) and Alex Saxon (The Fix, The Fosters, Finding Carter) as series regulars. The duo will join cast members Kennedy McMann (Law & Order: SVU) and Tunji Kasim (Florence Foster Jenkins).
The Nancy Drew pilot centers on 18-year-old Nancy Drew (McMann) and is set in the summer after her high school graduation. She thought she’d be leaving her hometown for college, but when a family tragedy holds her back another year, she finds herself embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation. Along the way, she uncovers secrets that run deeper than she ever imagined.
Jaizani will play Bess, a refined young woman whose wealthy background sets her apart from Nancy. But when they both become suspects in the same murder, Bess proves to be a spirited ally in the search for the real killer, all the while doing whatever it takes to keep her own dark secrets hidden. In the 2007 movie starring Emma Roberts as Nancy Drew, Bess was played by Amy Bruckner.
Saxon will portray Ace, a charming dishwasher with a philosophical bent; his provocative insights on the murder investigation will lead Nancy to conclude that there’s much more to this supposed burnout than meets the eye.
From Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire and CBS TV Studios, the Nancy Drew pilot is written and executive produced by Noga Landau, Schwartz, and Savage, and is directed by Larry Teng. Melinda Hsu Taylor also serves as executive producer.
A number of attempts to capitalize on Nancy Drew have come and gone over the years, dating all the way back to 1938 when Warner Bros. first purchased the character created by Edward Stratemeyer as a counter to his Hardy Boys series. Most recently, a 2007 film from Warner Bros. starring Emma Roberts fizzled at the box office ($30.7 million worldwide on a $20 million budget) and with critics (49% on Rotten Tomatoes), thus canceling the studios plans for a sequel.
NBC attempted to bring the heroine to the small screen last year via Doubt creators Tony Phelan, Joan Rater and Dan Jinks and, funny enough, CBS TV Studios with Nancy Drew, featuring an older incarnation of the character. The show never materialized. CBS Studios, Phelan, Rater and Jinks also previously adapted the character into Drew starring Sarah Shahi, which went to pilot and got close to a series order, but was ultimately scrapped. Drew likewise served more as a sequel to the books and featured a much older, grittier version of the character.
Currently, there’s a Nancy Drew film in the works from Ellen DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and Red 56 titled Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, starring It’s Sophia Lillis as the titular hero. The film, directed by Katt Shea (Poison Ivy) from the screenwriting team of Nina Fiore and John Herrera (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Vampire Diaries), focuses on Nancy Drew, a smart high schooler with a penchant for keen observation and deduction, who stumbles upon the haunting of a local home. A bit of an outsider struggling to fit into her new surroundings, Nancy and her pals set out to solve the mystery, make new friends, and establish their place in the community. No release date has been announced for the film adaptation, which is currently in post-production.
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