HBO News Blog

Development Slate – HBO Films: GORBACHEV

By Jef Dinsmore on May 21, 2013 to HBO Films


Playtone Productions is back at it with yet another historical drama for HBO. No, it is not a sweeping WWII mini-series; though remember one is in the preliminary works. This time it is a biographical look at Mikhail Gorbachev, as in the former Soviet Union president. As history tells us it was during his term as President, the USSR’s only one at that, that the Union crumbled in 1991.

Gorbachev was a big figure in history and this movie, showing the dissolution of his country, he will be a big figure as well. Mr. G. will serve as a consultant to the project along will a few aides who served under him at the time.

Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone were asked to come on board when the project was pitched to HBO by Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way Company. It seems that DiCaprio has run into Gorbachev a number of times through the years and has since become good friends. The script was fashioned by John Shiban (showrunner for Hell On Wheels).

That is the basic who and what about the piece. With those strong production houses, an established relationship between the team and their subject HBO Films: GORBACHEV will be a movie to watch for in the future. Now to start speculating on who might play him. Could it be Michael Chiklis or Philip Seymou  Hoffman? Who do you think?

  • Tamara Winfrey

    I think this has potential to be incredibly compelling, especially with input from Gorbachev himself and his aides. I hope that they put some thought into the script and take time to develop the characters.

  • I can’t say that this would be something I’d go out of my way to watch, but if there was nothing else on, maybe. I wonder what kind of a draw something like this has. It’ll be interesting to see how the ratings turn out.

    • Jef Dinsmore

      Yes, I’d have to agree with your thoughts there. but,it should be masterfully done and that alone might make it intriging.

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