HBO is back in business with The Wire and Treme creator David Simon. Though the insanely smart and wonderfully talented writer is currently developing a Martin Luther King Jr. miniseries America: In the King Years at the network, it appears that a miniseries of a different sort will materialize first. HBO has now given the greenlight to Show Me a Hero, which is based on the non-fiction book by Lisa Belkin and tells the story of Nick Wasicsko, the youngest big-city mayor in the country in the 1960s who was forced by a federal court to build a number of low-income housing units in white neighborhoods of his town, Yonkers, New York. The result of the effort was the eruption of tensions in the city and the destruction of his political future. Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener are poised to lead the six-hour drama.
So we’ve got David Simon writing a racially charged miniseries with Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener starring. Sounds fantastic right? Well then we have the director: Paul Haggis. More after the jump.
Per Deadline, Simon will executive produce and co-wrote the adaptation of Show Me a Hero with fellow Baltimore Sun journalist and The Wire writer William F. Zorzi, and Crash writer/director Paull Haggis will be directing the mini. Crash is not a very good movie, and Haggis’ latest directorial effort, Third Person, is terrible. That said, the creative team behind Haggis is incredibly strong, so maybe he can turn out a pleasant surprise with Show Me a Hero. Simon previously delved into the miniseries arena to positive results with 2000’s The Corner and 2008’s Generation Kill.
Isaac will be filling the role of the mayor, while Keener will play Mary Dorman, a homeowner “who comes to a remarkable realization during the battle over where to build the low-income housing.” Simon consistently excels in making us face the hard truths about our country and how our society functions, and though Haggis’ involvement gives me pause, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what becomes of Show Me a Hero.