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The entertainment industry loves a good reboot and a good reimagining, and if the subject matter can be made a little grittier in the process, it’s all the better. Knowing that, though, still doesn’t add any palatability to the fact that CBS is bringing adult versions of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn to audiences for, you guessed it, a criminal procedural. Mark Twain is rolling in his grave while flipping over to Fox.
Remember the racial underpinnings of Twain’s novels Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Then you might not be surprised to learn that the new project Sawyer & Huck, which has received a put pilot commitment from CBS, will take place in St. Louis, currently one of the nation’s hotbeds for racially motivated violence. The show would take place in modern America, and would see the two boyhood friends reconnecting in the aftermath of a murder. Sawyer has a fledgling legal firm for which he is the only employee until he takes Huck on as an investigator. Episodes would see them taking on cases for clients who have no other options. I’m guessing they use a raft to get to and from work.
So who is going to be behind this potential disaster? If you said, “Two guys named Brandon,” you’re right. According to Deadline, the pilot will be written by Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier, both writers for NBC’s The Blacklist. Margolis also worked as a director’s assistant for shows like The Office and Nurse Jackie, while Sonnier wrote for the doc I Know That Voice and the feature films Blues and The Beat, which he also directed. The Sawyer & Huck pilot will be directed by TV vet Anthony Hemingway, who directed the feature Red Tails and episodes of series such as Shameless, Empire, Treme and many more.
If you’ve been paying attention for the last 100 years or so, you’ll know that this isn’t the first adaptation of Twain’s beloved novels. Film versions of the characters have been around since 1917, which had Jack Pickford as Tom Sawyer, and the first TV show about him came in 1960. We’ve seen these characters in live-action, in standard animation, in Japanese anime, in claymation, and even as a musical. The latest take on the material was 2014’s Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, from director Jo Kastner. Obviously the best way – nay, the only way – to bring these guys back to audiences is as grown ass men solving shit in St. Louis.
We have no clue when we’ll hear anything more about Sawyer & Huck’s future, but maybe we’ll get our childhood friend-turned-investigator Holden Caulfield to look into it for us.