It seems like only yesterday we were patroling the Boardwalk Empire of Nucky Thompson in season 2 of HBO’s hit prohibition era program. HBO has announced a third series of the show and lead writer Terrance Winter spoke to HuffPo recently about some of the things we can expect in Season 3. Note: these questions and answers obviously contain spoilers from the first two seasons. You’ve been warned! Here are some of the highlights:
Are you already mapping out future seasons so you know where the show is heading, or are you allowing things to develop slowly?
It’s a little of both. We really have to take it one season at a time, hoping that the audience wants to continue to see this series and that HBO wants to continue to produce it. I want to take a very optimistic view and assume we’ll be on for many seasons to come, so ultimately I have a couple of ideas of how it would end. But until we get there I’m not ready to etch that in stone — or even edge it onto paper with an ink-jet printer.
How will the Prohibition era boost the show’s drama during season three?
We’re moving into 1923 when the Twenties really became the ‘Roaring Twenties.’ The economy began to boom and this became the Flapper Era. The parallels between then and now are obvious because that period mirrors the world we live in today. Prohibition, for instance, is the model for the illegal drug business; it’s what made millionaires out of gangsters. People were buying political favors, and big business controlled everything. But from a more practical standpoint, there haven’t been many shows about Prohibition since The Untouchables and the era was ripe to be explored. It’s appealing to do it on HBO where you can show things honestly.
You based the character on a real person, Nucky Johnson, but you changed his name to give yourself more leeway, right?
I didn’t want to be married to the real guy’s life story. I realize we have certain real characters such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, and if you don’t know their history, it’s easy to find on the internet. So in order to stay ahead of the audience I knew we needed to fictionalize as many characters as possible, and I wanted to take our Nucky into places that the real Nucky Johnson might never have gone — emotionally, violently. I also didn’t want to sully the real person’s reputation in case he has family. That wouldn’t be fair.
Boardwalk Empire season 3 is set to premiere this Fall on HBO