David SimonLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 4/09/18 at 1:45PM EDT
The Wire's David Simon will next tackle the Spanish Civil War
Simon and his literary team of George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane are working on A Dry Run, a six-episode miniseries about the American Abraham Lincoln Battalion who went to Spain to fight fascism during the Spanish Civil War. The proposed series doesn't have a network, and Simon is working with Spanish producer Mediapro to raise funds to pay for it.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 11:05PM EST
The Wire ended 10 years ago today
The fifth and final season finale of the acclaimed HBO series aired on March 9, 2008, finishing up its most polarizing and perhaps disappointing season. But in retrospect, was Season 5 really that bad? "The first four seasons of The Wire are still great, better than anything you’re convincing yourself to watch this week," says Darren Franich. "The fifth season of The Wire has a stranger reputation. I revisited it late last year for the first time since 2008... Its main fault is still its most obvious: A new plot thread about the decline of print journalism feels preachy like The Wire never did. The lying reporter Scott Templeton (Tom McCarthy) is, I think, the only truly irredeemable character the show ever conjured up, his villainy so telegraphed and so clearly symbolic. There are mass murderers on The Wire with more virtues than Templeton. (McCarthy was clearly so disturbed by the role that he performed elaborate print-journalist penance and directed Spotlight.) But a decade later, the fifth season of The Wire looks better, or at least more purposefully weird. Simon’s work is strenuously realist." ALSO: What would The Wire be like in Trump's America?
Posted Friday 2/16/18 at 2:13PM EST
John C. Reilly could've played McNulty on The Wire
David Simon revealed how Reilly was almost cast in Jonathan Abrams' new oral history book All the Pieces Matter, which GQ has an excerpt out specifically focusing on the casting of each character. "I thought John C. Reilly could be a different McNulty, certainly not the same, but I thought he could carry all of the excesses and vices of McNulty in a different way," said Simon. "I've loved his work in a lot of stuff."
Posted Monday 2/12/18 at 2:12PM EST
HBO and David Simon prevent a Wire actor's plans to put on “The Wire: A Stage Play"
Norris Davis, who appeared on seven episodes of the HBO series, had been billing his play as a spinoff of The Wire with the two main characters named Avon Barksdale and Chris Partlow. But after talking to HBO, he has opted to change the play's title and connection to The Wire, but he plans to keep his characters' names.
Posted Friday 2/09/18 at 8:57PM EST
Reg E. Cathey dies: The Wire star won an Emmy for House of Cards
Cathey, 59, played Frank Underwood’s favorite D.C. rib cook Freddy Hayes, a role that earned him three consecutive Emmy nominations for outstanding guest actor, including a win in 2015. Cathey also famously played political operative Norman Wilson on The Wire. “Not only a fine, masterful actor -- but simply one of the most delightful human beings with whom I ever shared some long days on set,” tweeted The Wire creator David Simon. “On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking. Reg, your memory is a great blessing.” House of Cards creator Beau Willimon added: "Reg Cathey was one of a kind. Brimming with life force, generosity, humor, gravitas and a fountain of talent. Loved by everyone lucky enough know him and work with him. He will be greatly missed."
Posted Tuesday 2/06/18 at 11:36PM EST
Read an excerpt from The Wire’s oral history book
Jonathan Abrams’ All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire comes out Feb. 13, offering details such as the origins of Clay Davis’ “sheeeeeeeit.” ALSO: Austin’s ATX Festival will honor David Simon.
Posted Tuesday 1/16/18 at 1:35PM EST
The Wire’s David Simon plans to adapt Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America for TV
Simon confirmed plans for a six-part miniseries that he’s shopping to networks. The Plot Against America imagines a world in which famed aviator and isolationist Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, and strikes a deal with Germany and Japan to keep the U.S. out of World War II.
Posted Thursday 1/11/18 at 2:57PM EST
The Deuce’s David Simon: We had no problems with James Franco
“I’m still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn’t there,” The Deuce co-creator said in a statement. “Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I’ve checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”
Posted Friday 1/05/18 at 11:08PM EST
Lena Waithe’s The Chi is being compared to The Wire, but it has more in common with Shameless
The Showtime series also has a lot in common with The Wire creator David Simon's acclaimed HBO series Treme, says Matt Zoller Seitz. “Like Shameless and Treme, The Chi is “mainly concerned with the lives of working class and poor people struggling to survive day-to-day, rather than the system they’re struggling within,” says Seitz. “It’s a rare drama that bothers to remind us that even when somebody in your family dies unexpectedly, you still have to work, pay rent, and drive mom around. Yet somehow, for all the occasional horror and persistent indignity, life goes on here, every day, every minute, and The Chi appreciates that as well, often pausing to take in the beauty of an intricately painted mural on the wall of a bodega, or the way the orange sunset light glints off the side of an elevated train rounding a curve.”
- The Chi arrives more than a decade after The Wire, “and the contours of its ambition and scope are recognizable”
- The Chi quickly carves its own niche with a concept that defies simple description
- It looks like a work in progress that shows some potential, yet also some predictable storytelling
- The Chi offers a remarkably raw portrayal of its characters’ strengths and flaws
- It needs time to grow: You end up wanting to appreciate it more than you actually appreciate it
- Waithe: “This is about showing us as people. Not perfect people. But as human beings”
- “My mission is to show these young black men are not born with a gun in their hand,” says Waithe
- Waithe invites Chicagoans to critique her show: “You get first dibs”
Posted Tuesday 1/02/18 at 7:20AM EST
David Simon offered to apologize for killing Omar on The Wire in exchange for big-money political donations
The Wire creator’s New Year’s Eve stunt aimed to raise money for Democratic candidates. "Receipt for any $1000 donation gets a personal apology from me for killing Omar," Simon tweeted.
Posted Monday 10/30/17 at 9:37PM EDT
The Deuce concludes Season 1 looking like The Wire’s “shaggy, debauched sibling”
HBO ’70s porn drama, says Willa Paskin, “provides a panoramic view of all the ways women were exploited at the dawn of the porn age by mobsters, cops, City Hall, pimps, nascent pornographers, sex shops, and themselves. As in The Wire, structural institutions and historical inheritances work with and against each other to create dysfunctional systems so powerful it is nearly impossible to escape them. But there’s a difference between The Wire and The Deuce: Sex can be bought and paid for, but unlike the hard drugs at the center of The Wire it is not only a commodity. Sex can be fun and so can The Deuce, which only lends veracity to the show’s cumulatively damning perspective on the sex trade.”
- The Deuce isn’t about sex — it’s about capitalism
- It took guts for David Simon & Co. to take the risk it did with the season finale
- The Deuce is like an intentional endurance test: “It’s as far from escapism as a drama can get and still be watchable”
- The Deuce can be frustrating to watch, as it asks viewers for their patience
- How The Deuce set designer re-created 1970s New York City
- Maggie Gyllenhaal of also serving as a producer: “I have to have some sort of guarantee that I’ll be part of the storytelling”
Posted Friday 10/27/17 at 10:04PM EDT
HBO’s The Deuce is really a show about gentrification
David Simon’s 1970s-set porn industry drama shows how the grit of Times Square formed the seeds for gentrification. “It’s possible to read The Deuce as an early example of a phenomenon modern American city dwellers are all too familiar with; television’s foremost chronicler of urban life and the systems that govern it has finally given us a show about gentrification,” says Alison Herman. “The Deuce is to the commodification of public space as The Wire was to the war on drugs: a surprisingly accessible, fiercely intelligent, and subtly principled exploration of a macro issue on the most micro of levels.”
Posted Thursday 10/26/17 at 10:17PM EDT
David Simon recalls when Fats Domino filmed a cameo on HBO’s Treme
The late rock ’n’ roll pioneer, who died this week at 89, originally agreed to do a cameo, but not perform. As Simon recalls, he ended up performing anyway.
Posted Monday 10/02/17 at 8:13PM EDT
Maggie Gyllenhaal is the real star of The Deuce
The women so far have been the most interesting part of David Simon’s 1970s porn drama, with Gyllenhaal’s Candy leading the way. Her performance especially stands out in comparison to James Franco’s unwieldy twin roles.
Posted Monday 9/25/17 at 1:26PM EDT
The Deuce is chock full of HBO alumni
Many actors on the ‘70s porn drama have appeared in previous HBO projects, from The Sopranos to True Blood to The Leftovers. In fact, David Simon has re-cast several of his Wire alumni.