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THE WIRE’s Simon/Pelecanos Return to Baltimore & HBO

by Jef Dinsmore
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George Pelecanos and David Simon

One of HBO’s go-to creators is David Simon. Yes, you know him if you’ve seen THE CORNER, THE WIRE, GENERATION KILL, TREME, SHOW ME A HERO, THE DEUCE and THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA. George Pelecanos has worked beside Simon on a few of those works as well as THE PACIFIC for HBO. They are teaming up once again to give the network WE OWN THIS CITY as their next collaboration.  

The work takes them back to the streets of THE WIRE, Baltimore Maryland and is described as follows: 

It is set in Baltimore 2015. Riots are erupting across the city as citizens demand justice for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man who has died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody. Drug and violent crime are surging, and the city is reaching its highest murder count in more than two decades: 342 homicides in a single year, in a city of just 600,000 people. Facing pressure from the mayor’s office—as well as a federal investigation of the department over WeOwnThisCity_-BookGray’s death—Baltimore police commanders turn to a rank-and-file hero, Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, and his elite plainclothes unit, the Gun Trace Task Force, to help get guns and drugs off the street. 

However, behind these new efforts, a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scale was unfolding within the police department. Entrusted with fixing the city’s drug and gun crisis, Jenkins chose to exploit it instead. With other members of the empowered Gun Trace Task Force, Jenkins stole from Baltimore’s citizens—skimming from drug busts, pocketing thousands in cash found in private homes, and planting fake evidence to throw Internal Affairs off their scent. Their brazen crime spree would go unchecked for years. The result was countless wrongful convictions, the death of an innocent civilian, and the mysterious death of one cop who was shot in the head, killed just a day before he was scheduled to testify against the unit. 

Wow, corrupt authority in an already corrupt city. This examination is right up this creative team’s alley. The tale’s source material for the is the book “We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption” by investigative journalist Justin Fenton. According to our source, the work has begun casting. As always, we look forward to the latest from Simon & Pelecanos.   

(Source: Deadline)

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TheBearPaw April 10, 2021 - 7:13 am

This is wonderful news!
David Simon and his team are geniuses and artists and filmmakers of the highest order!
Do we know if this project is the next one Simon takes on after his Spanish Civil War miniseries? Or does this one replace it?

Jef Dinsmore April 12, 2021 - 1:07 pm

It is good news. As to your question of which comes first, “A Dry Run” or “We Own This City” all my go-to sources come up blank; sources include Simon’s Facebook account, Twitter feed & even his own website.

I would think his Spanish Civil War work would be further along in its writing, but being a period piece, even though it is only the late 1930’s it could be harder to shoot, especially in pandemic times. Though I’d love a return to Baltimore with him I’m eager for something different from Simon. We will keep you posted.


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