Vincent Ngo, top screenwriter and Hollywood script doctor, has set up comedy series “Early Risers” in his native Vietnam. Talent behavior, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) represents the production company Early Risers Media Group and is handling licensing of the series’ distribution rights.
The show, about the lives of American and European expats living and working in Saigon, is set to begin filming under the direction of Zach Merck at the end of this month.
After a prolonged period of COVID restrictions, “Early Risers” is believed to be the first international television production in Vietnam in over two years. Local production is being run by Ace 1 Pictures.
“Vincent has created a series that’s incredibly smart, funny and daring,” said executive producer Peter Toumasis. “It’s a contemporary comedy set against Saigon’s rarely seen expat community, which is full of lovable first-world rejects who had somehow failed from grace and are trying to reclaim it in a country far from home.”
The ensemble cast of “Early Risers” is a diverse group of Eastern and Western talent and includes CS Lee (“Dexter”), Kristian Bruun (“Orphan Black”); Omar Elba (“A Hologram for a King”), Phi Vu (“Happy Death Day”), Amara Miller (“The Descendants”); Dat Phan (winner of “Last Comic Standing” and Paul Yen (“Little Fires Everywhere”).
Early Risers Media partner Russell Williams calls the series “a love letter to modern Vietnam, too often seen through the lens of history, and rarely with humor and beauty.”
Ngo (best known for writing “Tonight, He Comes” which became the screenplay for Will Smith-starring “Hancock”), Toumasis (“Zero Contact,” “Man on Fire”) and Merck (“Rennervations,” “Twentysomethings”) are all disciples of the late Tony Scott.
“Vince, Pete, and I have a connection through our shared history working with Tony. We’ve known each other for twenty years and thrilled that we’re able to finally create something together,” said Merck.
Ngo, aka Vy Vincent Ngo, moved from Vietnam to the US when he was 4 years old. He has been based stateside ever since and studied at UC Irvine and UCLA, but also kept in touch with his family roots. Ngo’s other credits include production of 2011 film “Big Boss,” a crime comedy film involving two of the biggest names in contemporary Vietnam cinema, Charlie Nguyen as director and Dustin Nguyen as producer.