Boardwalk Empire showrunner and executive producer Terence Winter, who wrote last night’s season finale, talked to EW about the finale as well as Season 3. The first part of the interview includes major spoilers for those of you who missed last night’s episode so beware! If you’re looking for a bit of healing you might want to give the entire thing a full read. There are a lot of gangsters the show has yet to explore. Here’s what Terence had to say about Boardwalk Empire season 3:
With Van Alden having run off to Cicero, is he going to still be in our story?
Yeah. People who are really students of Mob history will pick up on the fact that Cicero, Ill., is the place Al Capone became headquartered in 1924. So we put him in a place where he theoretically could interact with other characters on the show.
So can we expect to see Al Capone come into his own as a formidable force next season?
As time goes on. The plan is now is we would come back in season 3 a little further into the future and start to really track Al Capone’s rise and — God willing — through the course of the series. By 1925, Capone was the guy everybody recognizes — the guy in the white fedora who’s firmly in charge of Chicago. Hopefully we’ll be on the air long enough to see that guy. Certainly in [season 3] we’ll start to see Capone on pretty much equal footing as Johnny Torrio in terms of who’s running the town.
You mentioned jumping forward in time for season 3. How long will that be? [Note: Season 2 was set in 1921]
We’re thinking about 16 months and starting the [third] season around the beginning of 1923, then maybe run through the end of 1923. It was an exciting year. All the people who stockpiled liquor started to run out, so competition between bootleggers became really fierce.
I can’t imagine Nucky is going to be very pleased with Margaret donating all his land to the church.
I don’t think that will make anybody happy. The ramifications of that will be explored as the series progresses.
And I’m assuming Richard Harrow will continue as a key player?
Yes, Harrow will continue to be part of the show, absolutely.
One thing that impacted me this season was the polio story line — a really heartbreaking move. It’s easy to forget nowadays what a horrible disease that was.
Especially with that little girl. That actress is really so sweet. It was hard for us. My wife read that script and punched me in the arm. Steve Buscemi read the script and said he threw it across the room. We did a lot of research on the subject and it just ravaged children in this country, and adults too. It was a horrific disease.
So for season 3, I hear you’re looking to add a new character, Bud Matheson, described as a young James Cagney type. Might that be Boardwalk‘s new up-and-comer?
Yeah. As the ’20s progressed and became the Roaring ’20s, it was very youth-oriented culture. Young people really came into their own, with access to automobiles. They had influence on popular music and fashion trends. We really wanted to infuse the show with some exciting young sexy energy and this guy is the sort of embodiment of that new sort of go-getter who wants to grasp things with both hands. Cagney was a great prototype — the fast-talking brash young guy who wants it all and wants it now.