David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries (!!!

#2
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/david-chase-returns-to-hbo-with-miniseries-about-the-start-of-hollywood-film-industry/
And it's not a moment too soon, since HBO has become a wasteland of anything worth watching. (Feel free to disagree with me...) Today's announcement says The Sopranos creator will develop a miniseries "about the invention of cinema and subsequent growth of the Hollywood film industry" entitled A Ribbon Of Dreams (which takes its name from Orson Welles’ description, “A film is a ribbon of dreams.”) Beginning in 1913, it will follow two men, "one a college-educated mechanical engineer, the other a cowboy with a violent past, who form an unlikely producing partnership as employees of D.W. Griffith and together become pioneers and then powers for a time in motion pictures". Crossing career paths with John Ford, John Wayne, Raoul Walsh, Bette Davis, Billy Wilder and others, the miniseries will cover the age of rough-hewn silent Westerns, to the golden era of talkies and the studio system, to the auteur movement, to television, and finally to the present day. Chase will write and executive produce the miniseries, as well as direct the initial episodes. But wait: also on board is Paramount Pictures chairman/CEO Brad Grey, who executive produced The Sopranos with Chase, and will also serve as an executive producer on the new miniseries, too. What, they don't pay him enough at Viacom that Brad has to moonlight at HBO? What a slap in the face to Les Moonves, whose CBS Inc owns rival Showtime. Kary Antholis, president of HBO miniseries, will oversee the project. UPDATE: An insider emails me by way of explanation: "Brad is on the David Chase HBO project as an EP, but the deal is with Paramount -- and it's an HBO/Paramount/Chase Films production."


Chase has said several times that he wouldn't be returning to television after The Sopranos was over, so this is obviously a huge surprise. Perhaps he doesn't consider the miniseries format to be the same as an ongoing series. Regardless, I'm obviously incredibly interested, and wonder how many Sopranos alumnae might be in the cast and crew.

Re: David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries

#3
Wow! This sounds incredibly interesting. Count me in. Outside of Flight of the Conchords and Eastbound and Down, HBO's original programming has been pretty sparse of late. I just never got into Big Love and the other shows just have not grabbed me (though I am looking forward to the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm.)
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

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Re: David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries

#4
Wow, this is some terrific news! The subject matter doesn't knock my socks off on the surface, but anything Chase does will automatically have my attention. To know that it's a miniseries and not just a movie REALLY makes me excited.

I wonder if this is something he won't start writing until after he finishes the movie he's supposed to be writing (about the rock and roll industry in the 60s), or whether the movie has been shelved in favor of this project?

ETA: The only HBO series besides Curb Your Enthusiasm that I've really liked is the Life and Times of Tim, the animated show. It's quite funny. I'll probably watch some of the new season of In Treatment, but it's hardly a great show.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries

#5
Off the subject slightly - Fly, if you have not seen Eastbound and Down, give it a look see. There are only six episodes (or will be when complete.) It's a great comedy starring Danny McBride (who was in Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express.) Outstanding comedic talent, IMHO.

And I had forgotten about the movie he was signed to write. Never heard anything else about it. I am kind of hoping that is shelved in favor of this. The over-arching theme of the miniseries is right up my ally being a film buff. I love not just the movies but the history of the industry as well. I am especially pleased to see him tackle the later stages after the golden age of Hollywood. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls was a great book about that period. (Down and Dirty Pictures is a follow up looking at the rise of indie film, and is also quite good.)
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

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Re: David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries

#7
The New York Times article answers one important question (important text bolded by me):

HBO has made a deal to bring David Chase, the creator of its biggest hit, “The Sopranos,” back to television.


The network announced on Monday that Mr. Chase would write and produce an ambitious mini-series that would dramatize the history of Hollywood moviemaking, from the early days of the 20th century to the present day.

The series, “Ribbon of Dreams,” will begin with the behind-the-scenes roles played by two fictional characters — one a cowboy with some violence in his past, the other a mechanical engineer — who work for the famous early film director D. W. Griffith. It will follow them and their professional heirs through the development of the movie business.

The project is expected to cover each period of Hollywood movies, beginning with silent westerns and comedies, through the golden era of the studio system, to the emergence of auteur film directors in the 1970s, and up to the current mix of studio blockbusters and independent films. The cast of characters will also include many of the biggest names of Hollywood’s past, including John Wayne and Bette Davis.

The title refers to a quotation from Orson Welles: “A film is a ribbon of dreams.”

The return of Mr. Chase represents a coup for HBO, which has been courting him to develop new projects for television.

At the end of “The Sopranos,” Mr. Chase had indicated that he was turning his attention to the movies and one particular film project, which he said he would write and direct (but would not describe).

“We couldn’t be more excited to be back in business with the master,” said Richard Plepler, an HBO co-president.

An executive who has worked with Mr. Chase on previous television projects said Mr. Chase had been researching the idea for about two years, unsure what form it would take.

After meeting with his longtime producing partner, Brad Grey, who is now the chairman of the Paramount Pictures film studio, the two men decided it would work best as a mini-series and pitched the idea of the Hollywood epic to HBO.

Mr. Grey will again serve as executive producer on this project, an arrangement he maintained on “The Sopranos” even after he was named chief executive of Paramount. Mr. Chase and Mr. Grey declined to be interviewed. At the time, Mr. Grey said of “The Sopranos” and his personal involvement: “For the people on this show this has been the greatest creative experience of everyone’s life.”

HBO has released no details on the expected length of the mini-series, nor when it might be put into production. But in the past HBO has altered its schedule to move up projects that it deemed most ready and most worthy.

If Mr. Chase turned in a script by late this year, the network, in theory, could begin shooting the series in early 2010. But Mr. Chase will be directing his film project for Paramount first.

Previous HBO mini-series have been as long as 12 hours (“From the Earth to the Moon” in 1998), while its most recent, “John Adams,” ran for seven hours. The network has given Mr. Chase enormous leeway in the past, allowing him as much time as he needed for seasons of “The Sopranos.”

He will most likely be allowed all the time he wants to develop his Hollywood story. And, as it did when it kept adding seasons of “The Sopranos,” HBO would most likely have no problem if he decided he needed more than one season to complete the epic.


It's funny that they're already speculating more episodes will be added. Some things never change :icon_biggrin:.

Re: David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries

#8
jouster wrote:It's funny that they're already speculating more episodes will be added. Some things never change :icon_biggrin:.


LOL, very true.

So he will complete the film first. Since I've yet to see it announced that the film has begun pre-production, I assume he's not even finished writing it. I would be mildly surprised if they started shooting it this year. Whenever it does start shooting, post production probably won't finish for another 9-12 months after. So I can't see him even starting to write this project until mid-late 2010, and that would likely mean mid-late 2012, at the earliest, for an airing. In other words, it sounds like it's a long way off.:icon_cry:

I know Chase really wants to do a feature, and I'm certainly keenly interested to see what he produces in that realm. But long form works, when done well, are just inherently more appealing to me, and he's so revolutionized the possibilities and elevated expectations associated with series television that I'm especially grateful he's going to return to that format.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries

#9
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:ETA: The only HBO series besides Curb Your Enthusiasm that I've really liked is the Life and Times of Tim, the animated show. It's quite funny. I'll probably watch some of the new season of In Treatment, but it's hardly a great show.


This surprises me, Fly. I guess I am somewhat of an HBO-geek, cause many of the series I have really enjoyed. The Wire, Deadwood, Carnivale, Rome, Six Feet Under, Extras, In Treatment, Flight of the Conchords, Oz, all must-views for me. Just very interesting that we have such similar tastes in regards to enjoying The Sopranos, but amongst other tv shows, they don't line up whatsoever.

Re: David Chase returning to television with HBO miniseries

#10
I know for a fact that Fly enjoyed the fourth (I think) season of The Wire, but hadn't seen the rest the last time we spoke. Not to call her out, or anything :icon_wink:

I'm with you, Garth. Deadwood and The Wire are probably both in my top 5 favorite series ever, along with The Sopranos, though I never could get into Six Feet Under (too melodramatic). I also loved The Larry Sanders Show, which I recall Chase mentioning in an interview that he admired, and was the reason he wanted to work with Brad Grey, which eventually lead to The Sopranos and to HBO. Oh, and of course, don't forget Mr. Show, for my money the best sketch comedy of the last several decades.

(Sorry for going off-topic - perhaps we should start a general HBO/TV discussion thread for this.)
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