First the sweeping six-hour endeavor hit a snag, to use the production team’s words, with “internal and external, weather-related factors,” leading to a “rough shoot” so far. Then this past summer the director John Curran and the director of photography Rob Hardy left over the infamous “creative differences” reason. Then the trail went cold, as it were, and the project seemed dead in the water.
Finally, we now have a little to go on about the project. Via a taped interview with Collider one of the project’s stars, Casey Affleck, had the following to say:
Obviously, young Mr. Affleck was in an interview for another project, The Finest Hour, and at the end the interviewer got him to tell us that the production is at a full stop as it went back to the writers to start anew. IMDb lists the writers which includes Stephen Ambrose, who wrote the source material “Undaunted Courage,” as well as Michelle Ashford, Edward Norton and Derek Robertson. Curran is still listed as writer and sole director, but if he is out then who is directing? We simply don’t know at this point.
We also don’t know what this means for projects like MASTERS OF THE AIR which is also a highly anticipated concept on the production team’s slate. Just how stalled is this project? Surely they are not scrapping what is in the can? To use Affleck’s words this one was just too “unwieldy.” The epic tale of Meriwether Lewis (Affleck) and William Clark (Matthias Schoenaerts) as they are assigned a major expedition into the unknown west and their journey through that territory and the results of their findings and maybe even their lives does seem a huge story to take in.
We hope this production can get back on its journey and give us a great look at the historic expansion of the USA and a great piece of HBO entertainment. We await further positive news.