ABC is set for a contemporary take on St. Elmo's Fire, the 1985 movie that launched the filmmaking career of Joel Schumacher.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, after strong interest from multiple networks, ABC landed the dramedy series project, exec produced by Schumacher, Topher Grace, Dan Bucatinsky and Jamie Tarses and to be written by Bucatinsky.
St. Elmo's Fire has received a script commitment with a penalty attached to it, and hails from Sony Pictures TV, whose feature sibling owns the rights to the original movie.
That film, co-written and directed by Schumacher, was one of the defining movies of the Brat Pack genre. It starred Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham as friends who had just graduated from Georgetown University and chronicled their adjustment to adulthood.
"More than anything, the movie evokes a feeling that doesn't go away," Bucatinsky said, "the feeling of bonding with your friends who become your surrogate family."
Added Grace, "It's the feeling of that time in your life when everything is possible but you can't figure out how to make it possible."
The series version will use the movie as a takeoff point and as an inspiration as it introduces six new friends: three boys and three girls.
What will remain is the setting -- Georgetown and St. Elmo's Bar & Restaurant, now called St. Elmo's Bar & Grill, where the friends hang out. And if the set-up looks a little bit like Friends, that's OK with Bucatinsky.
"I feel it is time to re-create Friends in the hourlong genre and feel like this is the perfect opportunity," he said.