Sam Mendes and Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Franchise’ Picked Up to Series at HBO

The half-hour comedy set in the world of superhero moviemaking is written by Jon Brown

Armando Iannucci, Sam Mendes (Getty Images)
Armando Iannucci, Sam Mendes (Getty Images)

“The Franchise,” a half-hour comedy series from Sam Mendes, Armando Iannucci and Jon Brown, has been picked up to series by HBO.

According to its logline, the show follows the crew of an unloved franchise movie as they fight for their place in a “savage and unruly cinematic universe” and shines a light on “the secret chaos inside the world of superhero moviemaking.”

The series stars Himesh Patel as Daniel and Aya Cash as Anita, Jessica Hynes as Steph, Billy Magnussen as Adam, Lolly Adefope as Dag, Darren Goldstein as Pat, and Isaac Powell as Bryson. Recurring guest stars include Richard E. Grant as Peter and Daniel Brühl as Eric.

Patel is repped by 42, WME, and attorney Greg Slewett.  Cash is repped by UTA, Industry, and attorney Paul Hastings. 

In addition to Mendes, Brown and Iannucci, “The Franchise” is executive produced by Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown, and Julie Pastor for Neal Street Productions and Jim Kleverweis.

The pilot, which was completed before the SAG-AFTRA strike began, was directed by Mendes and written by Brown, who also serves as showrunner.  Production on the series will not begin until the strikes have concluded. 

“With a deft touch only he can bring, Sam has brilliantly captured the romance and the reality of filmmaking today,” HBO programming executive vice president and head of HBO & Max comedy series Amy Gravitt said in a statement. “Jon is superb at sending up worlds we think we already know. Together, with Armando, they have delivered a truly hilarious comedy ensemble. I can’t wait to see more.”

The show marks Mendes’ first foray into television. Iannucci most recently spearheaded the HBO comedy “Avenue 5,” which was canceled after two seasons.