In my interview with Steve McQueen, a question I was thankfully able to squeeze into my 12 minutes, was what we can expect from him next. His response: a musical. Although he hadn't yet decided on what that potential musical would be.
But based on this morning's news (courtesy of Deadline), the much-talked-about director's next project doesn't look like it will be a musical. And, in fact, it won't be a project that will be released in theaters. At least, that doesn't appear to be the case at the moment.
The celebrated director with now just 3 feature films on his resume, has set up a project at HBO, with World War Z co-writer Matthew Michael Carnahan, as well as Russell Simmons (yes, that Russell Simmons), and the Oscar-winning producers of The King’s Speech, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman.
Details are currently sparse on the drama project, but it's being described as "an exploration of a young African American man’s experience entering New York high society, with a past that may not be what it seems."
I'm already intrigued, needless to say. My mind is already considering all the potential themes a concept like this could explore. And knowing that this will be in McQueen's hands, gives me even more to think about.
As I told him during our conversation, I think he's in very rare air right now, as a filmmaker of African descent who has the industry's full attention, and is probably in a position to do almost anything he wants. At the very least, he's in demand, and he'll definitely be heard. How many other black filmmakers can say any of that about today? And he's been able to accomplish this with just 3 films.
The untitled HBO project is expected to be in his signature provocative style, and is further being described as “Six Degrees Of Separation meets Shame.“
I loathe those standard, reductive industry comparisons, but I understand why they are commonplace.
HBO is fast-tracking the project, meaning it'll likely be McQueen's next directorial effort, with casting underway.
And given the above description, we wait with anticipation to learn what black actor will be cast to play the lead. Also, it's not clear whether this will be an ongoing dramatic series, or a singular movie project for HBO.
No matter, the concept definitely intrigues, and I'm curious to know more about what McQueen's cooking up for us next.
It's also a curiosity that the project is set up at HBO, and not aimed at a theatrical release. Although, it could very well be as well. But better a premium cabler like HBO, than broadcast network TV.