Check Out Our New Look

HBO Greenlights World War I Mini Starring Benedict Cumberbatch And Rebecca Hall

By | Friday June 3, 2011 @ 12:18pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

HBO and BBC have given the green light to Parade’s End, a five-part miniseries set during World War I,  written by Oscar winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare In Love) and starring British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall. The mini will be directed by Susanna White, Emmy nominee for her work on another HBO mini set during a war, Generation Kill. Parade’s End is based on the series of four books by British novelist Ford Madox Ford, which were published between 1924-28. Set against the backdrop of World War I, it tells the story of a complex and destructive love triangle among a conservative English aristocrat (Cumberbatch), his beautiful but cruel socialite wife (Hall), and a vibrant young suffragette. The mini, executive produced by Michele Buck and Damien Timmer, is slated to begin production in the fall. Selwyn Roberts and David Parfit will serve as producers. Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series Sherlock, has several movies in the pipeline: The Whistleblower, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, War Horse and The Hobbit. Hall next stars in another WWI project, horror thriller feature The Awakening. She is currently filming Stephen Frears’ Lay the Favorite.

Comments 23

EMMYS BACKSTAGE: Tom Hanks & ‘Pacific’

Tom Hanks was beaming backstage after having picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries for his work producing the HBO 10-parter The Pacific, the $200 million-plus project that was the most expensive in TV history. Hanks, who with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman exec produced the mini with Steven Spielberg, began by expressing mock outrage that The Amazing Race didn’t win for top reality competition series. “What?” he screamed. “You’re kidding!” He then expressed his wish that more miniseries had been nominated, beyond The Pacific and the Masterpiece Theatre project Return to Cranford. “There are a lot of themes and stories for which miniseries is the perfect medium for them to be told,” Hanks said. “We are all storytellers, and this was a terrific story to be able to tell over the eight years it took to get it done. That’s the great thing about HBO. It isn’t standard television at all. They let us say and do what we wanted. There are no act breaks for commercials and no specific time frame. They give you absolute and total freedom to tell your story and explore your theme in the best way possible. If you have millions to spend, you’d sure as hell better come through or you’re in big trouble.” – Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s Emmy coverage.

Comments (8)

Can The Miniseries Emmy Field Be Brought Back From The Brink Of Extinction?

Nellie Andreeva

History’s The Kennedys and Starz’s The Pillars of the Earth can’t come soon enough. The miniseries form has been on life-support in the past couple of years, with only one U.S. network, HBO, making consistent efforts in the arena. As a result, the nomination field for best miniseries has developed a familiar pattern in the past two years: only two spots on the nomination ballot: one for HBO’s mini of the year and one for a British import broadcast as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series. Last year, it was PBS’ Little Dorrit and HBO’s Generation Kill. Little Dorrit won. This year, it’s HBO’s war extravaganza The Pacific and PBS’ Return to Cranford. With its leading 24 Emmy nominations, The Pacific looks destined to win, following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Band of Brothers. But with the series field brimming with strong contenders to a point that the top categories were expended from 5 to 6 slots last year, it is sad to see the mini-series category teetering on the brink of viability with two nominees. There had been talk about possibly merging the TV movie and mini-series categories but longform, which hails back to the early days of TV, has a strong lobby at the TV Academy, with purist arguing against mixing what they consider two very different forms. So, just like the plan for pre-taping most of the long-form Emmy categories was squashed last summer, the dwindling miniseries field is getting spared, at least for now. And there are … Read More »

Comments (7)