Coming-of-age movie queen Kirsten Dunst is heading back to our screens in On Becoming a God in Central Florida, a new 90s-themed TV series set in the Sunshine State. Who’s ready to meet Krystal Stubbs?
We loved her as the sexually rebellious Lux in The Virgin Suicides, savoured her every whim as the doomed but fabulously frivolous French queen in Marie Antoinette, and were captivated by her every turn as girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson in the epic Spider-Man franchise.
But save for a few appearances in recent projects such as The Beguiled, Hidden Figures and Black Mirror, the one question on every film lover’s minds in the last few years (Bring It On fans, we see you) has undoubtedly been: when will Kirsten Dunst return to our screens with a starring role?
At long last, the wait is over, because it’s just been confirmed that Dunst will be back in the spotlight in a brand new TV series this summer, On Becoming a God in Central Florida.
The dark comedy series, which is produced by Dunst alongside Oscar-winners George Clooney and Grant Heslov, has sealed a deal with Showtime for a summer premiere, with the nine-episode series due to begin in August in the US.
With a primetime slot on our screens, and an official trailer finally showing Dunst in all her chain-smoking, pool dancing, rifle-firing glory, here’s everything you need to know about this summer’s must-watch series.
Who is in the cast of On Becoming a God in Central Florida?
The main billing for On Becoming a God in Central Florida is of course Dunst, who plays Krystal Stubbs, a water park employee on a minimum wage job who harbours lofty, albeit dubious, ambitions of achieving fortune.
“She’s [a badass], but she becomes that,” the actress told EW in 2017. “It’s going to be one of the most fun roles I’ve ever played…. It’s a great pilot!”
Dunst heads up an intriguing cast that also features Théodore Pellerin, Mel Rodriguez, Ted Levine, Alexander Skarsgård, Mary Steenburgen and Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto.
What is the plot of On Becoming a God in Central Florida?
Set in a small Orlando-adjacent town in 1992, the drama follows Krystal Stubbs as she pursues dreams of wealth by juggling her minimum-wage job with a host of other get-rich-quick schemes. In other words, the age-old business of scamming.
On her quest for riches, Stubbs hatches a plan to rise up through the ranks of Founders American Merchandise, a “cultish, flag waving, multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme” run by a powerful man named Obie Garbeau II (Ted Levine). Coincidentally, it’s the same scheme that “drove her family to ruin”.
As Stubbs becomes further embroiled in the dodgy dealings of FAM, she develops a complex relationship with the organisation’s most fanatic follower, Cody (Théodore Pellerin), until her schemes begin to entangle her co-workers, her boss Ernie (Mel Rodriguez) and his wife Bets (Ditto). All in a day’s work in the Sunshine State!
“We were immediately drawn to this stylish and subversive female empowerment story starring Kirsten Dunst as you’ve never seen her before,” said Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment for Showtime. “Throw in clever writing, inventive filmmaking, a strong, diverse ensemble and some alligators, and we’re confident Showtime audiences will find On Becoming a God irresistible!”
In a teaser for EW, we see Krystal Stubbs behaving very badly indeed as she zooms through the streets of Florida on a pink quad bike with a baby strapped to her chest, cocks a shotgun, and in one particularly badass scene, moves to blow a kiss at someone, before flipping the middle finger.
There’s also a mysterious appearance from a flapping pelican, which looks as though it might become a recurring symbol of Stubbs’ cunning character.
“The pelican is an animal both wily and fierce,” says Ted Levine’s Obie Garbeau II as he addresses a crowd in the teaser. “She’s graceful as she soars through the skies searching for food. She observes. She plans. Learn from the pelican!”
When can we watch On Becoming a God in Central Florida?
There’s not long to wait until we can binge-watch On Becoming a God in Central Florida, because the series premieres on Sunday, August 25 at 10pm on Showtime. In the meantime, you can watch the full trailer below.