She-Hulk Star Tatiana Maslany's Next TV Show Gets Abandoned by Network

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Tatiana Maslany, She-Hulk

The next project for She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany has received a disappointing update as AMC has abandoned the project over halfway through production.

Having landed the leading role in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law after her award-winning performance in AMC's Orphan Black, Maslany's career has been on the up and up. This trend looks placed to continue with more MCU appearances to come across the next Avengers movies and her next series, Invitation to a Bonfire.

Maslany - who will also serve as an executive producer - will play Vera in the six-episode psychological thriller that takes place at a 1930s all-girls school. Based on a novel by Adrienne Celt, Invitation to a Bonfire will explore the love triangle between young Russian immigrant groundskeeper Zoya (Freya Mavor), the school's newest staff member Leo (Pilou Asbæk), and his wife Vera.

The series was placed to come to AMC and AMC+ this year with production already well underway, but unfortunately, disappointing news has hit the project.

Tatiana Maslany's Next Project Searches For New Home

Tatiana Maslany in She-Hulk
Tatiana Maslany in She-Hulk

According to Deadline, Invitation to a Bonfire has been abandoned by AMC and has now found itself searching for a new home. The six-episode psychological thriller will star She-Hulk's Tatiana Maslany and be set at a 1930s all-girls school.

Showrunner Rachel Caris Love confirmed the team has already had discussions around searching for “a partner who’s capable of giving us the support that we need.” Four of the six episodes had already completed filming in Massachusetts at the time the team discovered last month that AMC had killed the project.

The show - which was placed to launch this year on AMC and AMC+ - appears to have been ditched by the network as part of an endeavor to take around $400 million in content tax write-downs. 

Reacting to the news, Love told Deadline how the whole team is "really crushed," and added how she was told the decision was entirely based on "finance and accounting," as opposed to any issues on the creative side:

“Everyone on the cast and crew is really crushed. When they called me, they said this had absolutely nothing to do with the creative and everything to do with finance and accounting. That’s a very challenging thing to process when you’re making something really beautiful and special.”

The showrunner went on to hint at the "erotic, suspenseful, and lush drama" of the series, teasing surprises and praising the entire cast:

“We made something one-of-a-kind … an erotic, suspenseful, and lush drama — told through the female gaze. We made a nesting doll of surprises. At the core, deceit, infidelity, murder. Our entire cast gave stunning performances. Freya Mavor, Pilou Asbæk, Ngozi Anyanwu, and Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany were breathtaking. They gave their souls, as did our whole cast and crew."

She went on to reveal the talented directorial team that was behind Invitation to a Bonfire, before adding how she "[looks] toward the future" of the series:

"Emmy-nominee Cherien Dabis directed the first two episodes, while the fabulous Lily Mariye directed episodes 103 and 104, and the incomparable Helen Shaver was to helm our grand finale. I’m immensely proud of what we made together and eager to look toward the future of Bonfire.”

At the time of her casting, AMC Studios President Dan McDermott shared the network's excitement to bring Maslany back to the network following her "career-defining performance" in Orphan Black:

“Tatiana is a singular talent who we’ve wanted to bring back to the AMC Networks family since her iconic and career-defining performance in Orphan Black. We’re thrilled to have her join Invitation to a Bonfire’s talented cast.”

Why Tatiana Maslany's Career Will Be Safe

At the time of writing, Invitation to a Bonfire is the only project currently on the cards for Tatiana Maslany with no further MCU appearances or other endeavors officially announced yet. But her odds of tagging along for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty appear promising, according to Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo.

With AMC having informed the Invitation to a Bonfire team that they were ditching the series just before Christmas, production will likely be on hold until a network or streaming home can be found for the series. However, this halt could raise issues as the cast and crew probably have other commitments to move on to.

Fortunately, Maslany's current star power just months after the She-Hulk finale ought to be a major selling point to potential new homes for the series. This will be particularly helpful if, as Rachel Caris Love, the decision to abandon Invitation to a Bonfire was purely financial and the show had no major creative issues.

With regard to Maslany's MCU career, everything is rather up-in-the-air at the moment with She-Hulk Season 2 not yet on the cards. So far, Marvel Studios has proven careful with what series receive a follow-up renewal, and after the legal comedy faced intense viral criticism, its Disney+ future could be in doubt.

Nonetheless, whatever may be the case for her solo series, Maslany undeniably has a bright future on her hands both in and out of the MCU. This will only be enhanced when she inevitably teams up with the Avengers on the big screen in The Kang Dynasty, taking her superhero from Disney+ to theaters.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is streaming now on Disney+.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.