Varsity Blues is getting a revival!
The 1999 sports drama will be getting an update in the new short-form video platform Quibi, created by former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman.
Called a “modern take” on the classic film that originally starred James Van Der Beek, Paul Walker and Jon Voight, the story will be written by Tripper Clancy and directed by Anne Fletcher (Dumplin‘, Step Up).
The original story followed a small-town high school football team and their overbearing coach (Voight) through a tumultuous playing season.
The football players deal with the pressures of adolescence while living up to the expectations of their football-obsessed community.
The film’s original producers Mike Tollin and Tova Laiter will produce the revival, with Tolling saying, “For all those who cheered Mox’s refrain, ‘I don’t want your life,’ as well as all those who never heard of the West Canaan Coyotes, we’re thrilled to bring Varsity Blues to Quibi and into the 21st century!”
Quibi — short for “quick bites” — is set to hit phones in April 2020 and has gained support (and $1 billion in investments) from several Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez and Zac Efron.
Once released, users can pay $4.99 to access the platform with advertising or $7.99 without it. It’s set to feature 7,000 pieces of content at launch, according to Vanity Fair. It will also feature both vertical and horizontal video, Thrillist reported.
PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive Idris Elba is set to star alongside Ken Block in a stunt-driving series, while Spielberg, 72, will work on a horror series that viewers can only watch at night, Vanity Fair reported.
Lopez, 49, will also hit the phone screen with her own show titled Thanks a Million — Lopez and nine others will choose an influential person from their early lives and give them $100,000 each, as long as that person passes down $50,000 to a similar person and that person hands off $25,000 and so on, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Quibi videos are expected to be short, but will still tell long-form stories just over a longer period of time.
“We love the idea of ‘one a day’ because we think it builds watercooler,” Katzenberg told Fortune. “The problem with streaming is that on the one hand, it has a lot of convenience; you’re in control of it. But on the other, you and I are never ever watching the same thing.
Efron, 31, will also get his own show alongside his brother. The Efrons will attempt to survive without food, water and technology for a set number of days. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake will host a show where he asks singers about the songs that inspired them to become musicians. Timberlake, 38, and the featured singers would then sing a duet of that song.
Other big names joining the new platform include Chrissy Teigen, Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, Get Out producer Jason Blum, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke.
“I don’t think we’re going to steal minutes from anyone else,” said Whitman, per THR. “I think we’ll add to [the content people consume] and help lift all boats.”
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