‘The Franchise’: HBO Orders Satirical Superhero Movie Series With Aya Cash And Himesh Patel, Sam Mendes To Direct Pilot

The entire business of movie news and movie blogging is driven by our examination of movie franchises. If it weren’t for Disney and Warner Bros’ continued efforts to build massive franchises, there’d be a lot less to write about and many fewer sites out there. And now we’re going to get a satirical look at what it takes to create a cinematic universe in Sam Mendes’ upcoming series, The Franchise, which has just landed a full season order at HBO.

Set to star Aya Cash (The Boys) and Himesh Patel (Yesterday), The Franchise is the brainchild of Armando Iannucci. Name sound familiar? Well, he’s one of the creators of Veep, along with hilarious political satire films such as In the Loop and The Death of Stalin. There aren’t many who can skewer a sacred cow or institution better. He also did the surprisingly great and extremely funny The Personal History of David Copperfield with Dev Patel.

Here’s the series synopsis: The crew of an unloved franchise movie fight for their place in a savage and unruly cinematic universe. THE FRANCHISE shines a light on the secret chaos inside the world of superhero moviemaking, to ask the question — how exactly does the cinematic sausage get made? Because every f*ck-up has an origin story.

Sam Mendes is attached to direct the pilot from a script by showrunner Jon Brown. Jessica Hynes, Billy Magnussen, Lolly Adefope, Darren Goldstein, Isaac Powell, Richard E. Grant, and Daniel Brühl are aboard to co-star.  Brühl and Grant know a thing or two about being part of the Marvel machine.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.