Acclaimed filmmaker Rian Johnson, the mind behind hits like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper, and Knives Out, is bringing his talents to television and he has Russian Doll co-creator/star Natasha Lyonne coming along for the ride. NBCUniversal announced today that Peacock has given a straight to series order for Poker Face, a new hour-long mystery series which has Johnson attached as creator, writer and director, with Lyonne set to star. The show has been given a 10-episode order by the streaming service and will be produced by T-Street and MRC Television. Lyonne will also serve as an executive producer via her Animal Pictures banner along with Co-Executive Producers Maya Rudolph and Danielle Renfrew Behrens.
“Rian Johnson’s distinct sensibility and talent for telling edge-of-your-seat mysteries is a massive gift for Peacock, and we can’t wait for audiences to delve into each case,” said Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming in a statement. “Paired with the acting genius of Natasha Lyonne, this series will be entertaining and addictive.”
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 16, 2021
Johnson added: “I’m very excited to dig into the type of fun, character driven, case-of-the-week mystery goodness I grew up watching. It’s my happy place. Having Natasha as a partner in crime is a dream, and we’ve found the perfect home at Peacock.”
MRC Television President Elise Henderson added, “Rian is a gifted writer and director who draws you in with his unique approach to mystery and we’re so proud to partner with him, and Ram, and to have Natasha Lyonne as our lead, and land this phenomenal show at Peacock with a talented team.”
— natasha lyonne (@nlyonne) March 16, 2021
Johnson is still fresh off of his Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay nomination for Knives Out and is hard at work on a sequel film. Lyonne is in the midst of season two of Russian Doll which is now shooting.
While promoting Knives Out Johnson opened up in multiple interviews about his interest in the murder mystery genre so it’s no surprise that it’s something he’s exploring in even more stories beyond his big-screen franchise.
“In the ’30s, when it was really taking root, you think about the state of the world back then, and how much moral uncertainty there was in the world, and that’s something that’s very distinct to the whodunit genre, is the moral certitude of it,” Johnson told Vanity Fair back in 2019. “It has this comforting thing where the world is thrown into chaos by this crime, and the detective comes in and you know that the good-person detective is going to set the world right by the end of it. Figure it out, restore moral order, and the bad person will go to jail. You can see why that would have felt really, really good in the ’30s. And I think that’s also, that feels really, really good right now.”
Check back here for new details on Poker Face as we learn more about it!