HBO News Blog


By Jef Dinsmore on Oct 1, 2012 to HBO News

Once again HBOWatch looks at the wheeling and dealing that happens with talent and production companies in order to bring new content to life. We think you might like some of the people eager to work with HBO.


  • Guillermo Del Toro plans an HBO series

Guillermo Del Toro the filmmaker auteur behind such works as “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the “Hellboy’ franchise is now attached to a piece for HBO entitled NUTSHELL STUDIES. It is to be an adaptation of the 2004 non-fiction book The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death by Corinne May Botz. Evidently the Del Toro project is not a literal telling of the career of forensic pioneer Frances Glessner Lee in the 1930’s like in the book but, a fictionalized journey of a 1950’s housewife who embodies the same skill and mindset as the real investigator. Bothe Dr. Lee and the housewife share the same analytical mind for detail and the use of accurate dioramas to examine the scene of the crime.

Sara Gran is listed as a screenwriter for the project. She writes right now for the cop-drama “Southland.” Del Toro will serve as director and executive producer. The only mystery surrounding this show, tagged as a Hitchcockian crime drama, is whether it is going to be an HBO FILM, HBO MINISERIES, or an actual series for the pay channel. We will have to wait and see but with HBO as his playground Guillermo Del Toro will be able to ramp up the gore and violence he seems to love.


  • Cianfrance MUSCLEs In on HBO

You may not know Derek Cianfrance but you might recognize some of his work. The first film he directed was Sundance Film Festival favorite “Brother Ted” followed up by the Ryan Gosling movie “Blue Valentine” and the documentary “Cagefighter.” Well, he now has plans in place for a stint on HBO with a piece called MUSCLE.

MUSCLE is an odd work about an Oxford graduate who moves to New York City and feels quite intimidated there. To compensate he obsesses himself with the world of bodybuilding as a way of protecting himself in a harsh society. It is somewhat better explained by Cianfrance himself. “It’s basically the urban retelling of the boy who got sand kicked in his face.”So, Muscle is one of the few things I’ve ever read that when I read it I was like I have to make that into a movie. Because it deals with the themes that I’m [interested in]….male anxiety, it’s about this masculine identity and reinvention [and] transformation of character. I tried you know to make a movie out of it but then I soon realized that I could never make a film out of this because first off I would have to resort to special effects, there’s no way I could have a guy go from me to Arnold Schwarzenegger. But if I could do that over the course of five years in a TV show it could be great.”

An even better description comes from a blurb about the Sam Fussell memoir from which the series is adapted. It states, At age 26, scrawny, Oxford-educated Samuel Fussell entered a YMCA gym in New York to escape the terrors of big city life. Four years and 80 lbs. of firm, bulging muscle later, he was competing for bodybuilding titles. Muscle is the harrowing, often hilarious chronicle of Fussell’s divine obsession, his search for identity in a bizarre, eccentric world of “health fascists,” “gym bunnies” and “muscleheads”-and his devout, single-minded acceptance of illness, pain, nausea, and steroid-induced rage in his quest for the holy grail of physical perfection.

We will just have to see how this concept fleshes out.


  • Nine Inch Nails to HBO!?

First off, no Trent Reznor and his hardcore rock posse are not staging an exclusive concert for HBO. I don’t think the premium cable channel is the right demographic, though I’d watch it. One of their albums however may come to life on HBO nonetheless.

Year Zero from 2007, the band’s fifth album, is a concept album that lends to a cinematic retelling as each song is from the perspective of a different character. The story they tell in song is a total thrashing of the United States government. Reznor, aided by writers Daniel Knauf, who wrote for HBO’s CARNIVALE, and Jim Uhls (“Fight Club” & “Jumper”) are penning a script for a miniseies that will be a joint production of HBO and BBC Worldwide.

The film will take us to America 2022 It has been redubbed as “Year Zero” or the year America is reborn. The state of affairs is so bad that the government gives its citizenry a drug via the nation’s water supply to keep them apathetic and carefree to the real problems of the day. Several underground rebel groups create websites to stir up anarchy and have the plan to send these sites back in time. The websites from the future are sent back to the year 2007 to warn the American people of the impending dystopian future and to prevent it from ever forming in the first place.

The work is still one in progress and one that we will watch for. Are you intrigued by any of these potential offerings on HBO? Let us know.


  • Jef Dinsmore

    Im a headbanger too but, not familiar with this particular concept album. If this show actully gets made I might have to search it out.

  • Teag

    Year Zero!

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