In case you hadn’t heard, every company on the planet is in the content game these days. Even Spectrum, the cable company that functions as a content delivery system, now makes its own content. And honestly, I’m glad they are, because I don’t know that there would be a second season of Manhunt without Spectrum. What’s Manhunt, you ask?
Well, the first season was known as Manhunt: Unabomber, and I thought it was great. Paul Bettany played Ted Kaczynski, and Sam Worthington played the profiler who hunted him down. And now the hunt is back on in Manhunt: Deadly Games, which follows the sad, strange story of Richard Jewell. Sure, we just saw Clint Eastwood deliver a pretty solid movie starring Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde and Kathy Bates, the latter of whom earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as Jewell’s mother, but this 10-hour series aims to dig much deeper than a two-hour feature ever could.
In fact, one important element that I wish Eastwood had explored more was the identity of the actual bomber — Eric Rudolph, who was the mastermind behind the Centennial Park bombing. Jack Huston plays Rudolph here, and he looks positively unhinged. I like that right off the bat, this trailer doesn’t play the “is he guilty?” game with Richard Jewell. It doesn’t get mired down in media ethics. It lets you know who the bad guy is and the two-minute trailer plays to the strength of its title — a bomb explodes, and the police are coming for whoever did it. There’s a lot of raid action here, and I’m eager to learn more about Rudolph’s motive, and how Jewell felt when the real suspect was caught.
The series may not boast Oscar winners like Rockwell and Bates, but the cast is still solid, with Judith Light playing Jewell’s mother, Carla Gugino playing reporter Kathy Scruggs, and Arliss Howard plays ATF bomb expert Earl Embry. Gethin Anthony and Kelly Jenrette co-star in the series, which was co-produced by Lionsgate and Spectrum. Creator and writer Andrew Sodroski served as executive producer along with John Goldwyn and Michael Dinner, the latter of whom also served as the series’ director.
Manhunt: Deadly Games will kick off February 3 exclusively on Spectrum’s On Demand platform, though a second viewing window will open down the line so that non-Spectrum customers can enjoy the show later this year. Click here to read Matt Goldberg‘s C-minus review of Richard Jewell, which suggests that Manhunt may just do a better job with this complicated true story. Watch the trailer below and let me know what you think.