Remember that logjam of likely never happening film projects that Martin Scorsese had waiting for him on his Google Calendar? Well you can cross one off the list: Scorsese and Mick Jagger are teaming up for a new HBO series that would chronicle the lives of two friends through 40 years of the music business. It’s the second HBO project for Martin Scorsese — the first being Boardwalk Empire — and shows the further thawing between movie directors and series television. In addition to Scorsese, HBO has Michael Mann on board for Luck, Bill Condon for Tilda and they just finished airing The Pacific from executive producer Steven Spielberg (who is also producing the upcoming Fox series, Terra Nova). But which three other directors should try plying their craft on the pay cable network? The Observer makes some suggestions below.
People criticize Wes Anderson for always doing the same thing, but give credit where credit is due: So do plenty of other directors. Anderson had what many felt was a creative renaissance with the fantastic Fantasic Mr. Fox and if he can conquer stop-motion animation, why not cable? Desn’t his brand of off-kilter characterizations and hipster tweeness lend itself well to something spread out over the life of a series. His movies feel like truncated novels anyway — HBO would let him explore the space even further.
OK, this is kind of a cheat, since J.J. Abrams started on television and still has two series on the schedule for the fall (Fringe and the upcoming NBC show Undercovers). But now that he’s a big-time movie director, maybe he should give HBO a try. Think about it: An Abrams-produced weekly series that combines elements of Tales from the Crypt and The Twilight Zone, with Abrams as the de facto Rod Serling. You can even set the show in the ’50s to make it have even more of a retro feel.
Francis Ford Coppola
Be honest: Francis Ford Coppola hasn’t been relevant for decades, so what place better than HBO to reignite the brand? Give the winemaker 13 episodes to create a family drama set in the warm glow of the California sun and let him go nuts. Just don’t let him cast Vincent Gallo in anything again.