Kirsten Dunst is experiencing a career evolution of sorts, away from her days as a celebrated child prodigy and subsequent blockbuster-starring it girl star of key films during the late-1990s, early-2000s era. These days, while fielding supporting roles in films and a 2015 run on FX’s Fargo, she’s been transitioning towards a more creative capacity in her projects. Consequently, her upcoming gig on a television series, called On Becoming a God in Central Florida, will see her as star and producer.
Kirsten Dunst has been attached to the hour-long dark television comedy series to be called On Becoming a God in Central Florida as its star and executive producer since at least January. While the project was initially in development for AMC, the latest events will see it shift over to YouTube Red. Indeed, Deadline is reporting that the burgeoning premium streaming platform (which just scored its biggest hit with the imminently returning Cobra Kai,) has finalized its order for a 10-episode inaugural season of On Becoming a God, which is set to arrive in 2019.
On Becoming a God in Central Florida will be set in the early 1990s in, as the title suggests, Orlando, Florida. Dunst will play Krystal Gill, a widow making minimum wage at a water park who has decided to start taking shortcuts towards the ever-elusive American Dream by concocting cons. Her main target is a company called Founders American Merchandise, a multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme that initially brought her to ruin. Indeed, there is a bit of a picaresque, Breaking Bad vibe to the premise.
Esta Spalding (Masters of Sex, Battle Creek, The Bridge) will serve as showrunner and executive producer, joined in the latter capacity by Kirsten Dunst, Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky. In the director’s chair will be Charlie McDowell (The Discovery), who will be joined by producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov, the owning partners of Smokehouse Pictures. Sarah Shepard will oversee for Smokehouse.
The project also happened to be under the purview of Sony Pictures TV’s TriStar Television head, Suzanne Patmore Gibbs, who passed away this past March at the young age of 50. As Patmore Gibbs described to Deadline about On Becoming a God:
“In Krystal Gill, Funke and Lutsky have created a truly delicious, sometimes diabolical female character — a dirt poor, very fierce young woman who is relentless in her pursuit of the American dream inside of an Amway-like company. There is something incredibly compelling, heartbreaking and absurd about both she and the lost souls these multi-level marketing companies prey on, who look to find community, respect and a sense of self in all the wrong places.” She adds that star Dunst “was born to slay this role.”
For Dunst, her television run on On Becoming a God in Central Florida represents a crucial step in her aforementioned career evolution. Besides the buzz-heavy Fargo role, the former co-star of Sam Raimi’s smash hit 2002-2007 Spider-Man film trilogy was seen in recent films such as Midnight Special opposite Michael Shannon and the socially-relevant biopic Hidden Fences… er, Hidden Figures. However, besides this new show, big plans are in the works when it comes to Kirsten Dunst’s creative output, notably when she stepped in to direct the 2018 film adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s iconic novel The Bell Jar as both screenwriter and director.
On Becoming a God in Central Florida is still in development.
This article was originally published on January 9, 2017 and has been updated with new information.