Still a year away from launch, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi keeps adding talent – TechCrunch

Still a year away from launch, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi keeps adding talent – TechCrunch

Meg Whitman
Video won’t start rolling on Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new bite-sized streaming service with the billion-dollar backing until the end of 2019, but talent keeps signing up to come along for their ride into the future of serialization.The latest marquee director to sign on the dotted line with Quibi is Catherine Hardwicke, who will be helming a story around the creation of an artificial intelligence with the working title “How They Made Her, ” according to an announcement from Katzenberg onstage at the Variety Innovate summit. Hardwicke, who directed “Thirteen, ” “Lords of Dogtown” and, most famously, “Twilight, ” is joining Antoine Fuqua, Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi and Lena Waithe in an attempt to answer the question of whether Whitman and Katzenberg’s gamble on premium (up to $6 million per episode) short-form storytelling is a quixotic quest or a quintessential viewing experience for a new generation of media consumers.Katzenberg also revealed in a LinkedIn post that Quibi would be working on a basketball-related series with Steph Curry’s production company.
He wrote:I announced a new docu-series by Whistle called “Benedict Men” coming exclusively to Quibi. “Benedict Men” will be executive produced by Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media and will give viewers an ....


As one of the top athletic high schools with a storied basketball program and the highest graduation rate in New Jersey, the series will follow the brotherhood of young men who seek to balance life in complicated surroundings.In some ways, the big adventure backed by Katzenberg, the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and founder of WndrCo, and every major Hollywood studio — including Disney, 21st Century Fox, Entertainment One, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Alibaba Goldman Sachs — is the latest in an everything old is new again refrain.If blogs reinvented printed media, and podcasts and music streaming reinvented radio, why can’t Quibi reinvent serialized storytelling.Again and again, Whitman and Katzenberg returned to an analogy from the early days of the cable revolution.
“We’re not short form, we’re Quibi, ” said Whitman, echoing the tagline that HBO made famous in its early advertising blitzes. That Whitman and Katzenberg’s project to take what HBO did for premium television and apply that to mobile media is ambitious. Now industry-watchers will have to wait until 2019 at the earliest to see if it’s also successful. In the interview onstage at a Variety event on artificial intelligence in media, Katzenberg cited Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci ....

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