EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning Succession star Jeremy Strong is set to headline and executive produce a limited series about Boeing’s controversial 737 Max planes. The untitled project, which is now in early development at Amazon Studios, hails from Oscar-winning Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio and Plan B.
Written by Terrio, the fictional series, which is targeted for Prime Video, is described as an examination of the events surrounding the Boeing 737 Max. It will reflect various perspectives, focusing on a composite engineer character, to be played by Strong.
Terrio and Strong will executive produce with Plan B, Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim.
In an unprecedented move, the Boeing 737 Max was grounded worldwide in 2019 following jet crashes in Indonesia (Lion Air Flight 610) and Ethiopia (Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302), killing all 346 people on board.
Following the fatal incidents, investigations found a flaw in an automated flight control system called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Boeing was charged with fraud and admitted that two of its flight technical pilots misled the FAA about the flight system. The company in January 2021 agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle the criminal case. (In April of this year, families of U.S. crash victims petitioned a U.S. federal judge in Texas to scrap the settlement and reopen the criminal case.)
Mark Forkner, a former chief technical pilot for Boeing, was indicted over giving federal regulators “false, inaccurate, and incomplete information” about 737 Max’s MCAS. He was subsequently acquitted. FAA’s ban on the Max was lifted in November 2020 when the aircraft was cleared to resume service. Boeing has since ramped up production, aiming at 47 a month by the end of 2023.
Strong is best known for his Emmy and Golden Globe-winning role in HBO’s hit television show Succession as well as his appearances in such movies as The Trial Of the Chicago 7, Molly’s Game, Lincoln and The Big Short. He stars opposite Anne Hathaway and Anthony Hopkins in James Gray’s upcoming feature Armageddon Time, which premieres in competition at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival; Focus Features is expected to release the film in 2022. Strong is repped by WME and Sugar23.
Terrio made his feature screenwriting debut with 2012’s Argo, which earned him an Academy Award. He wrote the screenplay for Zack Snyder’s Justice League and co-wrote Star Wars: Episode IX and Batman v Superman, in which he crafted the big-screen debuts of D.C. Comics’ Wonder Woman and a number of other iconic characters. He is repped by CAA, Blue Marble Management and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols.
The project falls under Plan B’s exclusive overall television deal with Amazon Studios where the award-winning production company also has done such Prime Video series as Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad as well as Paper Girls. In television, Plan B also produced the FX limited Feud: Bette and Joan and the recent HBO Max miniseries The Third Day.
Filmmakers Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim’s previous work includes the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning feature The Square. The filmmaking duo’s recent feature The Great Hack on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal was nominated for both the BAFTA Best Documentary Feature and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. Amer and Noujaim’s latest release is the HBO documentary series The Vow.