HBO News Blog


By Jef Dinsmore on Sep 22, 2013 to HBO News

Missonary_WalkerNot every project considered for HBO makes the cut. Unfortunately, we can only speculate on the reasons why some developed works don’t make it to air. The latest concept to be denied is THE MISSIONARY. We first mentioned this work back on 06.13.12 with Aaron Paul circling it. Then we reported Benjamin Walker (at right) was in place instead on 11.15.12. On 05.19.13  further casting was announced.

 A pilot, set in late-60’s Berlin Germany, had Walker as an American missionary caught up in Cold War intrigue while assisting a woman out of East Berlin. I’m afraid this incident from the Cold War was given the cold shoulder from HBO as they decided not to move forward with the work. THE MISSONARY was written by Charles Randolph (The Interpreter), directed by Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns), and produced by Stephen Levinson, author Malcolm Gladwell and frequent Levinson collaborator Mark Wahlberg.

 If it wasn’t a good pilot than okay, but I think there was room for another good period piece on the network. I like the HBO’s approach to historical quality & accuracy, evident in BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and Cold War Berlin would have been another great setting. Of course, some other network could snag the project. It is just not meant to be on HBO.    

  • mwilson21

    With Treme ending, Simon will be looking to start another project soon enough, so my guess is that The Missionary isn’t going ahead because of A.) It’s base similarities to shows like The Americans on FX, and even Homeland on Showtime; B.) Because HBO is more interested in Simon’s Legacy of Ashes concept, which would be a period piece dealing with the C.I.A. circa 1945-1954. Here’s the link with more information on that project (and others):

    • timmy t


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