Comedian and writer Joel Kim Booster has a new project in development, and it revisits a classic. Trip is a romantic comedy series set on historic gay destination Fire Island, about two best friends who spend an epic week-long summer vacation on the island and find love. The twist? It’s based on a Jane Austen novel.
“The first time I ever went to Fire Island I brought Pride and Prejudice with me and was sort of struck by the parallels,” Booster tells Out in an email., “Austen’s observations about social behaviors are fairly timely, especially in the context of how people navigate social class.” So why not mix the two?
“It’s such a coocoo place,” Booster, a writer and producer on Comedy Central’s The Other Two, writes. “Specifically The Pines and Cherry Grove (two hamlets on the island) [are] such an interesting lens to view the various manufactured social classes gay men have constructed for themselves – whether it’s body image, race, or literal economic class.”
The project, which is still very much in its early stages, will launch on Quibi —a new streaming service from Dreamworks boss Jeffrey Katzenberg aimed at millenials and younger viewers. It promises to deliver short-form content designed to be watched on mobile devices. Creators like Tyra Banks, Jennifer Lopez and Chrissy Teigen are developing unscripted content for the platform, while directors and producers like Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro are developing scripted movies and series, which will be released in short, “Quibi-sized episodes.”
It will be exciting to see how Booster combines his sharp wit and the gay fantasy life on Fire Island with the short-form format of a service like Quibi.
But if you’re bemoaning the proliferation of remakes at the moment, don’t consider this project to be a part of that. “I’m approaching it in the same way Amy Heckerling approaches Clueless, which was an adaptation of Emma,” Booster writes. “I’m trying to strike the right balance of honoring Austen’s work without being so slavish that I’m unable to tell an authentic story about modern gay men.”
Booster also jokes that he might have an idea for a movie set on an Atlantis Cruise, a popular gay cruise line. “I’ve worked three Atlantis cruises and I’ve had an absolute blast on each one, and I’m sure I’ll write something about it someday,” he said, “but it will probably be an Agatha Christie adaptation, not Austen.” Intriguing!