While he has no shortage of upcoming feature credits, we've been seeing actor Paul Giamatti dabbling in TV for several years now, and doing it rather well, even winning himself a Golden Globe and Emmy Award for his starring role in HBO's John Adams, but this latest piece of casting news could put the Academy Award-nominated actor on the small screen more permanently, should this FX drama, Hoke, make it beyond the pilot stage.
TVLine reports that FX has ordered a drama pilot starring Paul Giamatti called Hoke. The project is described as an hour-long darkly comedic drama, in which Giamatti will play "a hardboiled and possibly insane homicide detective by the name of Hoke Moseley in Miami Circa 1985." Miami in the mid-80s? Anyone else picturing Don Johnson in a bright white sports jacket and a t-shirt underneath? I don't know if that's the look Giamatti's "Hoke" will be going for, but that's the era we're dealing with here.
Hoke is set to be written by Scott Frank, who will also executive produce along with Giamatti, Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon and Dan Carey. And if the character's name is ringing a bell, you may be familiar with Charles Willeford's series of novels, Sideswipe, New Hope for the Dead, and The Way We Die Now, as this project is based on the lead character.
Between John Adams and appearances in shows like 30 Rock and Downton Abbey, TV's proven to be a great fit for Giamatti, who's even more active on the big screen. Coming up, he has roles in Saving Mr. Banks alongside Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, playing Aleksei Sytsevich (The Rhino), and a part in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. While he's done both comedy and drama, it seems fitting that he should go with a role that's described as a darkly comedic drama, as that may be the best niche for Giamatti to flex all of his talents at once. Giamatti's recent credits on the big screen include Rock of Ages, The Hangover Part II and John Dies at the End.
As for the project itself, it sounds like a good fit for FX in that it doesn't sound like anything else FX has going on in terms of the plot. Though we do know the cable network has an appreciation for dark comedy (Rescue Me) and 80s-set dramas (The Americans), so there's that. We'll have to wait and see how things go for Hoke and what other actors join the cast of the project. With Giamatti on board, it's off to a great start.
Here's a great moment featuring Giamatti in Sideways. He's not drinking Merlot (Contains adult language!).