‘Most Dangerous Game’ Exec Producer Teases Quibi’s Exhilarating Thriller
If you weren’t already excited for Quibi’s upcoming launch, the new streaming service specializing in quick content aims to get your adrenaline pumping even harder with Most Dangerous Game. The action-packed thriller, premiering when the service launches on April 6, is one of Quibi’s “movies in chapters,” prestige-style series delivered in seven- to 10-minute episodes exclusively on your smartphone.
Most Dangerous Game stars The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth as Dodge, a terminally ill former athlete who agrees to be hunted for sport. TV Insider chatted with the show’s executive producer Nick Santora to find out more.
Tell me about Dodge and the predicament he finds himself in.
Nick Santora: Dodge is a good human being—a good man who just wants to help his wife and soon-to-be-born child before he might pass away from an illness. When you realize that you might be leaving your family in dire straits, you might consider desperate actions, and that’s what he does.
What can you say about the desperate actions he takes?
Basically, he agrees to participate in a game—a dangerous game—where he is hunted.
What makes him think this is a risk worth taking? Are there things about him that make him uniquely capable of taking on this challenge?
Dodge is wholly desperate, and when you’re desperate you’ll do desperate things. He also is an incredible athlete. He’s a former college runner and although he’s ill, he is still incredibly strong and incredibly capable of taking on this challenge. The people that participate in this game don’t want to hunt older people, don’t want to hunt people that are not capable. They want a good hunt. They’re not looking for 40- and 50-year-olds with bad knees. They’re looking for young, strong, capable competitors.
What makes Quibi the perfect platform for this story?
Quibi’s really exciting in that it challenges storytellers—writers, directors, actors—to capture the audience’s attention and imagination and get them to come back every seven to 10 minutes. I felt a story like this, which is propulsive, which is exciting, which has dozens of built-in cliffhangers, was the perfect fit for a format like Quibi.
Coming to Quibi April 6. pic.twitter.com/qUfKGisF96
— Quibi (@Quibi) March 30, 2020
Did you come to Quibi with this story or did they approach you?
Years ago, two writers, Josh Harmon and Scott Elder, had written a movie that was the basis for this series, and I was brought in to do a re-write and some work on the script. It never wound up getting made. Years later, Quibi had come across this story and felt that it was the type of propulsive, exciting action that could work great on their new format and asked if I could take this project and reimagine it further and expand it. I thought the challenge was exciting.
How did you adapt the story? What was the biggest difference making Most Dangerous Game for Quibi as opposed to another platform?
What Quibi challenges storytellers to do is, within every seven to 10 minutes there has to be a story unto itself. Each seven- to 10-minute chapter has to have a beginning, middle and end. Even if it’s part of a bigger story, you can’t just have generic connective tissue. Each chapter has to pull the audience in, take you for a ride and either resolve it in a way that is satisfying or raise another question at the end that makes the viewer say, I need to see the next chapter to know what’s going to happen. From a writing standpoint it’s quite challenging. It forces you to be disciplined and make sure that you’re giving something really interesting in each bite or episode.
Quibi describes Most Dangerous Game as a “movie in chapters.” How is that different from a traditional TV or streaming series?
I think the most meaningful difference is it’s more exciting than more traditional storytelling, because the very nature of how it’s being presented to the audience demands it be more exciting, or they’re just not gonna watch it. And I think Quibi has met that challenge. But with respect to traditional movies and television series, quality-wise there’s no difference. The production values, the budgets, the stars, the quality of storytelling is as good if not better than anything you’ll find anywhere.
Calling it a movie implies that at the end of the 15 chapters, a single story will have been told. Is that correct? Is a second “season” a possibility?
At the end of the last episode of Season 1 of Most Dangerous Game we will get to the end of the story of Dodge, our runner. Doesn’t mean there won’t be another runner. The game continues.
Is that a second season or a sequel?
I don’t know what I’m allowed to say, but I can say that I think there’s a strong potential for a second season.
Other than your own show, what are you looking forward to watching on Quibi?
The Fugitive. I made that one too.
So just your own work.
[Laughs] No, I’m excited to see it all. I wanna see how this stuff works. I know Kaitlin Olsen has a show coming up and I’m a big fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It looks like they’re gonna have some gameshows, I wanna check that out. I just wanna see how this plays out. I’m excited by it.
Most Dangerous Game, Series Premiere, Monday, April 6, Quibi