Moving boldly into the realm of original programming in the wake of a successful launch for its (very good) James Franco-Stephen King miniseries 11.22.63, Hulu has snagged The Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson for the lead role in comedy pilot Future Man.
Variety says Hutcherson will make the jump from studio blockbusters to the exclusively-streaming series to play Josh Futturman, a lowly janitor and avid videogamer with a destiny.
The series, from the writing duo of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, riffs on Ender’s Game, with Futturman learning that Cybergeddon, the dystopian video game he has mastered, is actually a training exercise. Called upon by characters from the game, who’ve time-traveled back in time in hopes of finding someone who can save humanity from extinction, he’s tasked with “defeating the imminent super-race invasion” – whatever that means.
Hutcherson’s cash-cow Hunger Games franchise finally came to a close last November, and though he has upcoming roles in The Disaster Artist and The Long Home, going to Hulu means he’ll actually have an on-going vehicle built around his acting ability (and comic timing, from the sounds of it). With more and more stars migrating to cable and online series, the actor’s move to the small screen is far less surprising than it would have been a few years ago, pre-True Detective and Fargo.
Kyle Hunter and Ariel Schaffir (The Night Before, Sausage Party) penned the script for the pilot, which gives you an idea of how many raunchy punchlines it’s likely to supply (hint: a lot). Getting Future Man off the ground, Rogen and Goldberg are directing the first installment, and will also exec-produce alongside Hunter, Schaffir, and Matt Tolmach. Additionally, Hutcherson will produce through his Turkeyfoot Productions shingle.
The roster of talent assembled here is another triumph for Hulu, which envisions itself as a competitor to Netflix and Amazon in terms of original programming. 11.22.63 was its buzziest debut to date, but the service already airs the acclaimed dramedy Casual and is gearing up to debut Aaron Paul drama The Path as well as the fourth season of The Mindy Project (resuscitated after Fox dropped the axe) later this spring.