David Simon, creator of HBO’s The Wire and Treme, is gearing up to make TV audiences praise his name again with another hard-hitting social drama. HBO has officially given the greenlight to Simon’s Show Me a Hero, a politics-filled miniseries led by the talented Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Catherine Keener (Enough Said). My fingers are already crossed that Michael K. Williams’ casting is right around “The Corner.” (David Simon joke.)
Show Me a Hero, which will be shown in six parts, was co-written by Simon and Baltimore Sun journalist William F. Zorzi (The Wire) and based on the 2000 nonfiction book from former New York Times journalist Lisa Belkin. Directing all six parts will be the Academy Award-winning director Paul Haggis (Crash), who last helmed the interlocking 2013 love story Third Person. Simon began developing the project a while back, but HBO was waiting until cast members and a director were locked down before officially putting in the order.
According to Deadline, Isaac will play Nick Wasicsko, the youngest mayor in the history of Yonkers, NY. His youth makes him particularly unequipped to handle the shitstorm that occurs when a federal court orders him to build low-rent housing units inside the town’s white neighborhoods. Expectedly, his attempts to do so polarize the town, creating huge problems within the local government and completely destroying Wasicsko’s life. Just once I’d like David Simon to make a light, witty comedy.
Keener co-stars as Mary Dorman, a homeowner in East Yonkers who “comes to a remarkable realization during the battle over where to build low-income housing.” Will that realization be something along the lines of, “We’re all insensitive?” The miniseries' events take place in the late 1980s, so we can probably expect the points of view to be brusquely hateful in nature. And knowing HBO’s reputation…
Show Me a Hero is the third miniseries Simon has developed with HBO, joining 2000’s Emmy-winning The Corner and 2008’s Emmy-nominated Generation Kill. (Treme is nominated for Outstanding Miniseries in this year’s Emmy Awards.) Chances are good that this project will earn itself a chance for the same accolades, and that the rest of this cast will be filled by equally talented thesps.
There’s no telling when Show Me a Hero will go into production. Keener recently finished filming Peer Pedersen’s family drama The Greens are Gone with Cary Elwes, while Isaac is currently inside a giant mystery box filming J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. I’m betting we’ll be watching Show Me a Hero long before that space adventure makes it to theaters.