Here on earth, Paul Feig is responsible for blockbuster comedies like “Bridesmaids” and the cult TV show “Freaks and Geeks.” For his new Yahoo Screen series, however, he’s taking matters out of orbit.
“Other Space,” Feig’s streaming comedy set aboard a spaceship in the year 2105, held its premiere screening Tuesday night at West Hollywood’s London Hotel, where TheWrap spoke exclusively with the director about his love of sci-fi, the state of streaming content and his decision to return to the small screen.
“I actually should sue Yahoo for stealing my color,” Feig joked when we asked if the purple accents in his suit (also Yahoo’s signature color) were more than coincidental. It was only a year ago the tech giant commissioned the comedy from Feig, about a group of misfits piloting a spaceship that gets sucked into a parallel universe and must find its way home.
“I love genres. I’m a huge sci-fi fan and I love anything where a bunch of people who shouldn’t be together get stuck somewhere. Honestly, ‘Freaks and Geeks’ was that. In high school, you’re there because you’re the same age and live in the same area,” Feig said. “Otherwise you’re trapped with people you have no reason to be with. Space is the alternate version of that.”
Indeed 1999’s “Freaks and Geeks” put a lens on a quirky, angst-ridden American high school. While it only lasted one season the series found talent like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini and Martin Starr before their big breaks.
“Other Space” was a concept of Feig’s for nearly ten years before landing at Yahoo, and the “Spy” helmer says streaming is the perfect platform for this kind of work.
“I wanted to do something not on a network. I like new media, and I really wanted to do something where we could do what we wanted and not have the constraints and the pressures of the big networks… I’ve always said I’d rather do the first scripted show on QVC than to be fighting on a network to find your way.”
In terms of the evolution of streaming, Feig says “it’s the best thing to ever happen to entertainment hands down. It makes it a total meritocracy. It means the good shows get seen, and the ones that aren’t as good get scrubbed away, and it should be that way.”
The entire first season of “Other Space,” starring Trace Beaulieu, Karan Soni, Milana Vayntrub, Conor Leslie and Neil Casey, is available for viewing here.
The aforementioned “Spy,” starring Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law, opens June 5. Feig’s hotly anticipated all-female “Ghostbusters,” starring McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, is due July 2016.