Nathan Fielder and the Safdie Brothers have teamed up for a Showtime series that remains shrouded in mystery, yet it’s already generating immense excitement. The Curse revolves around a couple adjusting to married life while co-starring in a tumultuous HGTV series called Flipanthropy. While not much has been revealed about the show so far, rumors suggest that the project drew inspiration from real-life marriage problems faced by Flip or Flop stars Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead.
Although specific details remain under wraps, recent behind-the-scenes tidbits have only deepened the show’s intrigue. Co-creator Benny Safdie, who co-stars as a long-haired, turquoise-jewelry-wearing producer, revealed to GQ a peculiar on-set pet peeve: He hates when actors don’t eat on camera. During the filming of The Curse, Safdie confessed to devouring “sixty chips in one take, and we must have had nine takes.”
Fielder further shed light on Safdie’s habit, recounting a scene where the Good Time actor consumed an entire Chinese buffet plate in each of the 15 takes. “You’d think any sane person would eat a couple less popcorn shrimp each time as the takes went on,” the co-writer said. “But he wouldn’t.”
It’s the kind of chaos that aligns perfectly with Fielder’s style, and it has the potential to make The Curse one of the buzziest new shows. While we await a release date, here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming comedy series.
According to Showtime’s official press release: “The Curse is a genre-bending scripted comedy that explores how an alleged curse disturbs the relationship of a newly married couple as they try to conceive a child while co-starring on their problematic new HGTV show.”
Safdie revealed that the project initially started as a 30-minute comedy and has since evolved into an hour-long dramedy. Fielder and Emma Stone are co-starring as the currently-unnamed lead couple, while Safdie himself takes on the role of their HGTV producer. Stone also serves as an executive producer, alongside the two co-creators.
“They live in an area called Española, which is close to Santa Fe. And that's where they're building their new homes,” Safdie told GQ. “They have a very different way of gentrifying the community. They want to do it ethically, and they want to do it in a way that doesn't hurt anybody. So they want to make a show about that. And you follow their lives as they're doing it.”
The series originated through the co-creators’ friendship. “We both think a lot about tone and realism,” said Fielder, who is also slated to direct a couple episodes. “We weren’t even intending to collaborate on a project actually, it just sort of happened organically the second time we hung out.”
In addition to Fielder, Safdie, and Stone, The Curse boasts a stellar cast. It was announced in July that Constance Shulman (Orange Is the New Black), Corbin Bernsen (Psych), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) had joined the show. Also set to recur on the series are Hans Christopher (The Walking Dead), Bennie Taylor (Poker Face), Michelle Campbell (Yellowstone), Timothy Oakes (Big Sky), and Alexander Poncio (Modern Family).
The Curse premieres November 10 on Paramount+ and November 12 on Showtime. Principal photography took place between June to October 2022, which means production shouldn’t be delayed by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. And at the time that his GQ profile was conducted, Safdie mentioned that he was in the final stages of sound editing, raising hopes for a potential fall release.
Dianna Shen is a TV Writer at Primetimer based in New York. Her work has been featured in Paste Magazine and Decider, among other outlets.