'Breaking Bad' writer to produce new ballet drama series
Moira Walley-Beckett, the Emmy award-winning writer and executive producer of the acclaimed television series "Breaking Bad" is turning her creative attention to the ballet world.
STARZ has tapped Walley-Beckett to produce a new original ballet drama called "Flesh and Bone" which is set to debut next year. The series will follow a young ballet dancer with a troubled past (Claire) who joins a prestigious company in New York City. As the press announcement puts it: "The dark and gritty series will unflinchingly explore the dysfunction and glamour of the ballet world." (Oh joy. "Black Swan" redux.)
Former American Ballet Theatre dancer Ethan Stiefel, now artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, will handle the choreographic duties while former ABT principal Irina Dvorovenko and current ABT soloist Sascha Radetsky will have key roles. Sarah Hay, a little-known soloist with the Semperoper Ballett in Germany, has been cast in the lead after an extensive search for someone who could handle both the dance and acting challenges of the role.
"Finding the perfect 'Claire' has been an almost impossible task," said Walley-Beckett in a prepared statement. "It was truly like looking for a unicorn because the demands of the role are so specific and challenging. I was looking for a beautiful and transcendent ballerina who is not only a brilliant dancer but also a gifted actress and who also possesses a fierce curiosity and enthusiasm about the brave demands of the work. Sarah Hay embodies the role of Claire just as I dreamt her."
Claire is an emotionally wounded young woman with an innate innocence but self-destructive tendencies and a vaulting ambition whose "inner torment and aspirations drive her in compelling, unforeseeable ways," according to a press release.
Walley-Beckett will write the show and produce it with the help of Lawrence Bender ("Inglorious Bastards, "Pulp Fiction" and "Good Will Hunting"), Kevin Grown ("Roswell") and John Melfi ("Sex and the City," "House of Cards"). Walley-Beckett and Bender are both former dancers and Brown's family has a long ballet history, serving as the basis for the Oscar-nominated film "The Turning Point."
Production is scheduled to begin early this year in New York, with a premiere sometime in 2015.