Joining the duo as exec producers are Ari Handel and Scott Franklin of Aronofsky’s Protozoa Picture and Nutopia’s Arif Nurmohamed (How to Build a Planet) and Peter Lovering (The 90s: The Last Great Decade) of Nutopia Pictures. Rock is currently in pre-production, and was first announced as a development project in The Hollywood Reporter in early December.
The project is part of an evolving strategy at Nat Geo, which is a major growth priority for new 21st Century Fox CEOs James and Lachlan Murdoch. Monroe first outlined her plans in a recent interview with THR,revealing how her focus now will be on bigger budgets, higher production quality and name talent behind the camera. Other recent examples include scripted effort Saints & Strangers as well as upcoming series Last Men Out from Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson and In Harm's Way from Mark Gordon.
Though the majority of the channel's output will remain unscripted, Monroe is looking to amp up its scripted fare, too. In December, she tapped Shine’s Carolyn Bernstein as Nat Geo’s scripted chief.