It looks like CBS’ drama pilot Quean is over before it began. According to inside sources at Warner Bros TV, which produces the project with Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures, the decision has been made to pull the plug upon the advice of an outside legal firm.
Quean was supposed to be a crime procedural which centers on an edgy and independent hacker girl who teams up with a police detective to solve crimes. The pilot secured Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan) as director, was written by The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken, and was moving to the casting stage when Warner Bros TV received a letter from Sony Pictures threatening a lawsuit over alleged similarities to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Sony has the rights to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo books and is adapting as a movie trilogy. The first movie, directed by David Fincher, was released last year and the other two have been greenlit.
In hopes that the show could still be saved, Chaiken proceeded with an extensive rewrite of the pilot, changing most key plot elements. Even after changing the lead’s employer from a police detective to a law firm, her boss from a white male detective to a black female lawyer, and the protagonist herself from a loner to a girl with a boyfriend, legal council still had a major issue with the lead character being a hacker. Seeing as changing that point was the major plot differentiator, Warner Bros pulled the plug.
This is a strange legal battle for a business where reboots and remakes are common place and that has three Snow White movies coming out this year.