On the intriguing new eight-episode Cinemax series Quarry, created by Michael D. Fuller and Graham Gordy and based on the best-selling books by Max Allan Collins, U.S. Marine Mac Conway (Logan Marshall-Green) returns home to Memphis from Vietnam in 1972, only to find himself demonized for the actions he witnessed and took part in while he was there. Struggling to make ends meet, Mac, who evolves into Quarry, is lured into an underground killing network of powerful criminals that turns his life upside down.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, showrunners Michael D. Fuller and Graham Gordy talked about why they wanted to tell this story, teaming up with Greg Yaitanes, who directed every episode of the season, the films that inspired the project’s cinematic language, what makes Mac such an interesting character, the challenges of finding the right actor for the role, and just how far ahead they’ve thought about this story.
Collider: What was it about these characters that made you want to tell this story?
MICHAEL D. FULLER: We try to always start from a place of character, first and foremost. That’s the way that we hook into a story, really. If you can come up with great characters, you can put them in a whole host of situations and it will hopefully be entertaining and engaging, and the characters really helped inform the story. And Max Allan Collins’ books, which the show is based on, gave us a great template for our main character. They start at a place where he’s already a pretty baked entity. He’s already completely formed into this hitman persona. So, we wanted to tell that origin story and talk about how he got there and what the elements in his life were that got him there. We had a lot of great tools, in terms of The Broker’s network, and it was really fun to be able to pull those different elements in and have them mash up against each other.
How did you end up teaming up with Greg Yaitanes, as the director for every episode this season, and why was he the best choice?
GRAHAM GORDY: Cinemax had bought the pilot, and then ordered back-up scripts, and then ordered a season. They had a strong and successful history with Greg, in the past, and they recommended him and brought him into the process, so we met with him and talked with him. We spent so much time researching this and working on it, and we had our go-to template, in terms of films of the early ‘70s and things that really inspired us. He really took to that and was really there to fulfill the vision of what was in the scripts.
FULLER: To get into the weeds of production a little bit, having one director allows you to cross-board, which means you can knock out a lot of aspects of the show, organizationally, in a way that you couldn’t do, if you were doing it episodically or shooting in blocks. The affinity that Greg had for the films of the era, that were also touchstones for us, gave us a shared touchstone to really draw from. As you’re moving forward, it helps to move swiftly and deftly because it’s more focused, in terms of the brain trust of Quarry.