On December 14, HBO announced that it has green-lit a limited series written and directed by Olivier Assayas (cool), produced by A24 (very cool), based on his quirky 1996 examination of French cinema Irma Vep (rad!) starring Alicia Vikander (hmmm). The original Irma Vep followed Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung, playing herself, as she shot a film-within-a-film and grappled with being commodified and exoticized. If the troubling legacy of how Western popular culture exoticizes Asian actresses seems like it would make for a fascinating miniseries, look elsewhere. Because now that the main character has been recast with white lead Vikander (who will also executive produce), the comedy will be less intersectional satire and more straightforward fish-out-of-water stuff.
“This is a comedy that will try and catch the Zeitgeist the same way the original Irma Vep did, in a very different world, a very different era, that right now feels light years away,” Assayas said in a statement. Irma Vep the miniseries will follow Mira (Vikander), “an American movie star disillusioned by her career and a recent breakup who comes to France” to star in a vampire movie. The show will explore the “uncertain ground that lies at the border of fiction and reality, artifice and authenticity, art and life.” So basically, it’s A24 Emily in Paris.