Paul Feig explains the strange saga behind his buzzy sci-fi sitcom Other Space

Contributed by
Apr 15, 2015

In case you were wondering why Paul Feig, the hotshot director responsible for Bridesmaids and the upcoming Ghostbusters, is also mounting a mid-budget sci-fi sitcom on Yahoo! Screen — we have the answer.

Feig conducted a wide-ranging interview with The Verge, focusing on the development of Other Space and the credit it owes to previous sitcoms like Red Dwarf and The Office (of which he directed several episodes). Turns out, Feig was so keen to get this project made because it’s a concept he’s been kicking around since way back when he was just another guy trying to make a name for himself.

The concept, which follows a team of geeky misfits on a spaceship, is one Feig has been developing since before 2008. Now that he actually has some clout, the opportunity presented itself to finally get the series made. He never really expected it’d wind up somewhere like Yahoo! (he initially developed it for NBC), but if it's good enough for Community, its good enough for us:

"This has been a real pet project of mine for a long time, and I'm usually the guy who throws out passion projects. I think passion projects are dangerous, because as your career moves forward, sometimes you go back to a place that you've [since moved] beyond. But this was [a project] that just always, always stuck with me, and I'm like, 'God, I just want to make that show. I know what that show is, I think it's funny.'

And I'm just a sci-fi geek — and I have been my whole life — and there's been such a dearth of sci-fi comedy unless you look to England, where they have Red Dwarf, and Hyperdrive, and those things. We haven't had much here. When I was growing up, there was a show called Quark that was on for like eight episodes, that my best friend and I thought was the funniest show ever. And so, yeah, when I came up with this idea back eight years ago, or however long it was, I was really excited about it. But it was kind of before The Office, and I wanted to do it single cam, and NBC didn't quite want to do single cam. So I tried to write it [as a multi-camera sitcom], but it just didn't feel right, so it all kind of fell apart.

But then the problem is once it falls apart, they still own it. And so, just every year, I'd always get on the phone with my lawyer and my agent, and then finally, when I was in post production of The Heat, it reverted back to me. And in a Kismet-ian world, that was right when Yahoo contacted my agent and said they wanted to put real money into a couple of shows. And so I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can actually maybe get this made.’

Yeah, so I'm thrilled. I didn't want to do sci-fi comedy that made fun of sci-fi. A lot of sci-fi comedy is parody."

Other Space is streaming now on Yahoo! Screen, and riding a solid wave of positive reviews. Check it out and let us know what you think.

(Via The Verge)

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