You might not have been overly familiar with Alfonso Cuaron’s name this time last year, but chances are you are now. The Mexico City-born director has had a stellar year, which culminated in winning the coveted best director prize at this year’s Oscars for his deep space thriller Gravity.
He’s momentarily turned his back on the big screen, though, to lend his hand to Watch’s new sci-fi drama Believe.
“I wanted to do something in which people were not floating!,” said Cuaron.
Believe, starring Kyle MacLachlan, Delroy Lindo, Jamie Chung, Jake McLaughlin and Johnny Sequoyah, follows 10-year-old Bo, a girl with extraordinary powers, who is put under the protection of death row inmate Tate – and there are no green screens or space suits in sight. “I wanted to do something more grounded, and we wanted to do it with real people, real locations.”
But Cuaron isn’t the only a-list director behind Watch’s newest US import. JJ Abrams, who boasts Lost and Star Trek in his CV, is also executive producing the drama.
“I met Alfonso over 20 years ago – and I’ve wanted to work with him desperately ever since,” said Abrams. “I was a huge fan of every movie that he made, and each one made me more and more desperate to try and figure this out.”
So why this, why now?
“When [Alfonso Cuaron] pitched the idea, it didn’t have to come from Alfonso to be something that was compelling and something that felt like I had to see that on television. And we were all desperate to be involved. But, of course, because it was Alfonso, it was even more so,” explains Abrams. “It was one of those things that was an opportunity too great, too exciting to pass up.”
“I found myself in a moment in Gravity in which I had a window waiting for the endless process of visual effects. And I wanted to do something,” continued Cuaron.
“I thought I didn’t have the time to make a film in that time, but maybe it would be great to do a TV show. It was the perfect moment to try to put together a TV show. And I talked to J.J. and said, “Hey, I have this idea.” He got excited immediately. And it’s just like that.”
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.