Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman Pit Magicians Against Nazis in HBO Drama HOBGOBLIN

     March 7, 2011


Married authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman are in the early stages of development on a new drama for HBO titled HobgoblinVariety has the logline: “A motley group of conmen and magicians who use their skills at deception to battle Hitler and his forces during WWII.”  My first thought: Whoa!  Thought two: that particular grouping of “conmen and magicians” makes me wonder about the show’s perspective on supernaturalism.  Will Chabon and Waldman equate magicians to conmen, simply repurposing the tricks of their fraudulent trade?  Or will there be a dichotomy between the believers (the magicians) and the skeptics (conmen)?  Either way — or any way, really — I’m in.

This is the first professional collaboration between Chabon and Waldman; they will write the script and executive produce.  John Lesher and Adam Kassan will also produce.  Hit the jump for a brief overview of the authors’ previous film experience.

michael-chabon-ayelet-waldman-imageTwo Chabon novels have been adapted into feature films: Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.  Scott Rudin (True Grit) owns the rights to two others: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.  The adaptation of Pulitzer prize winner Kavalier and Clay has been stuck in development hell for a decade now, but Rudin is in active development on The Yiddish Policemen’s Union with the Coen Brothers.

Recently, Chabon has ventured into screenwriting (Variety refers to the author as “a sought-after script doctor”).  He has a screen story credit on Spider-Man 2 and worked with Andrew Stanton (WALL·E) on the script for John Carter of Mars.

Lest you think Walmdan a slouch, her Love and Other Impossible Pursuits was turned into the Natalie Portman drama The Other Woman, which hit theaters and VOD earlier this year.

This news radiates the feeling of a very exciting new collective voice to the TV industry, especially tied to such a unique premise.  We’re still in the early days, but Hobgoblin is definitely a project I’ll be keeping tabs on.