HBO Films has picked up a new production. This one comes with WESTWORLD’s Jeffrey Wright attached. Via a press release, we learn a bit about O. G.
Starring Jeffrey Wright (Emmy winner for HBO’s ANGELS IN AMERICA, two-time Emmy nominee for HBO’s WESTWORLD), directed by Madeleine Sackler (Emmy winner for HBO’s DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS) and written by Stephen Belber (Emmy nominee for HBO’s THE LARAMIE PROJECT), O.G. was filmed entirely on location at Indiana’s maximum-security Pendleton Correctional Facility.
O.G. follows Louis (Wright), once the head of a prominent prison gang, in the final weeks of his 24-year sentence. His impending release is upended when he takes new arrival Beecher (Carter), who is being courted by gang leadership, under his wing. Coming to grips with the indelibility of his crime and the challenge of reentering society, Louis finds his freedom hanging in the balance as he struggles to save Beecher.
“We are proud to bring filmmaker Madeleine Sackler’s film to HBO audiences,” said Len Amato, President of HBO Films. “Groundbreaking in being filmed at an actual prison, with many of the men incarcerated there cast in acting roles, O.G. takes an intimate and unflinching look at the journey of one man – masterfully portrayed by Jeffrey Wright – at the precipice of freedom.” “Over the past four years, I had the unique opportunity to collaborate with men incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Facility and the staff at the Indiana Department of Correction,” says director Madeleine Sacker. “Our shared goal was to make a film that would give audiences an authentic glimpse at life inside a maximum-security prison. We are thrilled to be partnering with HBO to bring O.G. into the world.”
Also starring Theothus Carter and William Fichtner, the film premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where Wright won the award for Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film. HBO has also acquired the documentary IT’S A HARD TRUTH AIN’T IT, which was shot at Pendleton during the same production period as O.G. The documentary is co-directed by Madeleine Sackler and 13 men incarcerated at Pendleton, who study filmmaking as a vehicle to tell their own stories. Several of these men were also cast as first-time actors in O.G. In the documentary, they explore their memories and how they ended up with decades-long sentences, with animated sequences by Yoni Goodman (Waltz with Bashir) bringing their stories to life.
HBOWatch looks forward to this HBO Films production and its accompanying documentary in early 2019.