Here’s an unexpected piece of news: Seth Rogen, the mega-famous Hollywood comedy actor, is working on an American remake of the British period piece Plebs. Rogen’s production company Point Grey Pictures has picked up the relevant rights and is developing a Plebs remake to shop around American television networks.
If you’re unfamiliar, Plebs is an ITV2 sitcom set in ancient Rome. Joel Fry, Tom Rosenthal and Ryan Sampson star as the eponymous plebs (they’re working class dweebs, essentially). The series was created by Sam Leifer and Tom Basden and it has been running in the UK since 2013, building a sizable fan base and garnering complimentary comparisons to the likes of The Inbetweeners and Blackadder.
One assumes that the process of making an American version of Plebs will include recasting the entire show, shifting the accent-of-choice to an American one, and adjusting the style of comedy to a less British tone. Remaking a British comedy series for American audiences sometimes works very well (see: The Office – An American Workplace) and sometimes it really doesn’t (see: the American versions of Red Dwarf, Peep Show and The Inbetweeners).
Rogen has built a strong reputation as a TV producer of the last couple of years, thanks to his key role in the immensely successful AMC adaptation of the comic book series Preacher. Here’s hoping that Rogen can strike gold again this time, and create a Plebs remake that matches the quality of the original.
More as we hear it.