[TV] Robert Duvall's "Broken Trail"
- AMC, Duvall saddle oater
Net gambles $15 mil on horse opera
By DENISE MARTIN
AMC has engineered the priciest original programming deal in its
history, spending $15 million for a four-hour miniseries exec
produced by and starring Robert Duvall.
Duvall and longtime friend Alan Geoffrion developed "Daughters of
Joy," an epic adventure set in the Old West.
Story, based on historical documents and research, centers on a
rancher, played by Duvall, who crosses paths with five enslaved
Chinese women being sent to mining camps to work as prostitutes.
The rancher and his nephew take pity on the women and take them
along as they transport more than 500 horses from Oregon to Wyoming.
Walter HillWalter Hill, who won an Emmy for directing the pilot
episode of "Deadwood," will helmhelm the project, penned by
Geoffrion. Stanley M. Brooks ("Living With the Dead") and Duvall's
producing partner, Rob Carliner ("The Apostle""The Apostle"), are
Duvall told Daily Variety that the project reps the completion of "a
personal trilogy for me: 'Lonesome Dove,' 'Open Range' and
now 'Daughters of Joy.'
"It's the consummation of many things: My uncle was a rancher in
northern Montana, and I have a lot of friends in Texas. This is
something very near to my heart. The story is actually partially
based on something that happened to the father of a friend of mine."
Brooks, a longtime producer of TV Westerns including most recently
NBC's "The Legends of Butch and Sundance," said "Daughters" would be
more character-driven than traditional oaters.
"It feels a little like 'Lonesome Dove.' This miniseries really is
about these characters, who by some twist of fate end up in each
other's lives and go on this journey together in the Old West."
He added that the element of the horse drive is something unique to
the project: "You see a lot of cattle drives in famous Westerns, but
I can't recall a good horse one."
Production begins in Calgary this August for a premiere next summer.
Project is AMC's first scripted endeavorEndeavor and further defines
an increasing commitment to original programming. CablerCabler's
originals slate includes "Celebrity Charades," "Movies That Shook
the World," "Sunday Morning Shootout" and "Movie Club With John
Christina WayneChristina Wayne and Vlad Wolynetz are
overseeing "Daughters" for AMC. "Daughters" is a co-production of
Duvall and Carliner's Butcher's Run Films and Brooks' Once Upon a
Time FilmsOnce Upon a Time Films.
Duvall last appeared in "Kicking and Screaming" and "Secondhand
Lions." He'll next star in the features "Lucky You" and "Thank You
Brooks' latest installment in NBC's "Behind the Camera" franchise,
this one about "Diff'rent Strokes," will bowbow this fall. He most
recently produced the Lifetime movie "Fighting the Odds," starring
Jami GertzJami Gertz.