First announced towards the end of 2020, Arnold Schwarzenegger will star in his first very first scripted television series that’s thought to be called Utap but also has been referred to as FUBAR. Here’s what we know so far about the series which has Schwarzenegger appear in his first major Netflix project and his first major TV project.
As reported by Deadline, the competition was heavy for the project, but ultimately Netflix won the bidding war. The news is incredibly exciting as Schwarzenegger has had very little experience in television and has never starred in a major role for a series. For over five decades the herculean Austrian has starred in dozens of movies, but his first steps into a major TV role will be on Netflix.
Schwarzenegger’s casting as the lead in the series continues his relationship with Skydance, having previously reprised his role as the T-800 in Terminator: Genisys and Terminator: Dark Fate.
8 episodes will make up the first season.
Who’s behind Utap on Netflix?
Skydance Television and Blackjack Films Inc. are the two major production companies behind the new series.
The acquisition of Utap also continues the fruitful relationship between Netflix and Skydance. In 2020 the studio worked alongside Denver and Delilah Productions to produce The Old Guard, and with Bay Films on one of Netflix’s most expensive productions to date with 6 Underground. The studio has also produced Grace and Frankie and the sci-fi series Altered Carbon.
Nick Santora serves as the creator, executive producer, and writer on the series. He’s best known for his work on popular series such as Scorpion, Breakout Kings, Lie to Me, and Prison Break.
Santora, via his production company Blackjack Films, is also working on the biopic Dog Gone starring Rob Lowe.
Bill Bost, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are all listed as executive producers.
We’ve also learned that Phil Abraham is on board to direct episodes in the new series. The multi-Emmy nominated and winning director has been involved with projects such as Mad Men, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and The Walking Dead.
What is the plot of Utap/Fubar?
The series is based on True Lies, the 1994 action/comedy movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in alongside Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Art Malik, and Tia Carrere. The series is described as a “global spy adventure”.
A father and daughter have both been working as CIA Operatives for years, but each kept their involvement in the CIA hidden from the other, resulting in their entire relationship is a gigantic lie. Upon learning of each other’s involvement in the CIA, the pair are forced to work together as partners, and against the backdrop of explosive action, and espionage, learn who each other really are.
Who are the cast members of Utap/Fubar?
Announced extremely early, we still only have Arnold Schwarzenegger and actress Monica Barbaro listed as the only two cast members. The pair will portray a father and daughter dynamic.
Schwarzenegger, best known for his roles in The Terminator, Conan and Predator, will play Luke Brunner who is described as a strong, gruff and loveable curmudgeon.
Speaking at a The Arnold Sports Festival, Schwarzenegger said on the news he’d soon be jetting up to Vancouver and filming his first scripted series: “I’m always interested in doing different things.”
Barbaro is flying high right now following her role in Top Gun: Maverick. She’ll be playing the role of Emma in this Netflix series and described as the “eldest and most perfect daughter.” The actress is also set to feature in the upcoming animated prequel Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas.
Rounding out the cast includes (listed in order of appearance in grid above L-R):
- Jay Baruchel as Carter Perlmutter – Set to be the sweet and unsuspecting boyfriend of Emma. Works as an elementary school teacher.
- Travis Van Winkle as Aldon a wise-ass CIA officer.
- Fabiana Udenio as Tally the ex-wife of Schwarzenegger’s character.
- Scott Thompson as Dr. Louis Pfeffer
- Devon Bostick as Oscar
- Andy Buckley as Donnie
Elsewhere in the cast, we’ll see Milan Carter as Barry who has worked as a CIA officer alongside Brunner for 20 years. Fortune Feimster will play Roo another CIA officer. Gabriel Luna will play Boro, the lead villain of season 1.
You can see the full cast list here and we’ll be dropping more hints about characters in the future.
What is the production status of Utap?
Thanks to ProductionWeekly we know that as of January 2022 the series is currently in pre-production. Pre-production is set to end at the beginning of May.
Filming will take place in Toronto, Canada. According to production listings seen by What’s on Netflix, it’s set to begin filming on May 2nd, 2022, and run through until August 25th, 2022.
Photographer Sean O’Neill managed to capture some behind-the-scenes of Arnold Schwarzenegger on set. We’ve embedded several of them below with permission and you can view the full range on his Patreon.
You can also see various other snaps and videos of the production from keen production spotters below:
For the first time in his career, Arnold Schwarzenegger will star in his first televised scripted series on Netflix, called #UTAP now filming 🎬 in downtown Toronto! 🇨🇦 It's a father daughter spy adventure. @TOFilming_EM pic.twitter.com/CRnObWCH4i
— Anita Windisman (@AnitaWindisman) May 4, 2022
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