Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' The 10 Best Films Of 2004 The 10 Best Films Of 2004 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Leonardo DiCaprio-Produced Adaptation Of Acclaimed Novel 'Beat The Reaper' Heading To HBO

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 14, 2011 at 7:01PM

Not that we don't love the thing, but we're a little dispirited by the extent to which top-flight filmmakers are ready to jump ship to HBO. Increasingly the home to A-list directors like Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann and Darren Aronofsky, it's becoming one of the few places that smart, prestigious adult projects are treated as if the people who paid for them aren't ashamed of them (witness the push given to, say, "Boardwalk Empire" versus Fox Searchlight's burying of "Margaret"). But furthermore, it seems to be becoming the answer to what happens when a big-screen project hits the rocks.
1
Beat The Reaper

Not that we don't love the thing, but we're a little dispirited by the extent to which top-flight filmmakers are ready to jump ship to HBO. Increasingly the home to A-list directors like Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann and Darren Aronofsky, it's becoming one of the few places that smart, prestigious adult projects are treated as if the people who paid for them aren't ashamed of them (witness the push given to, say, "Boardwalk Empire" versus Fox Searchlight's burying of "Margaret"). But furthermore, it seems to be becoming the answer to what happens when a big-screen project hits the rocks.

Ron Howard's megabudgeted version of "The Dark Tower" set up its TV portion at the network after Universal pulled the plug on the project, while only a couple of days ago, Stephen Daldry told how he's planning on making his long-awaited adaptation of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" as an eight-part miniseries for the pay-cable channel. And now, Leonardo DiCaprio is becoming the latest glittering name to be associated with HBO, with a second project joining the Robert Schwentke-helmed "The Lobotomist" at the network.

The star's production company Appian Way has been working on an adaptation of Josh Bazell's acclaimed crime novel "Beat The Reaper," about an E.R. doctor who used to work for a mob family and is outed by a patient, for a while. The project had been set up at Fox and New Regency, with a script by "Rounders" and "Ocean's Thirteen" writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, and oddly, "Disturbia" director D.J. Caruso told us earlier in the year that he was going to make it his next project, something swiftly and comprehensively denied by the studio.

Fox have seemingly given it up, as Deadline reports that the project's now in the works, still under the banner of New Regency and Appian Way, joined by LBI Entertainment, as a potential HBO series, with the network beating out three other suitors. It seems that DiCaprio's no longer attached in an acting capacity (it would be a hell of a coup for pay-cable if he was...), but we're sure that, should the project move forward, there'll be no shortage of names wanting to get involved further.

As we said, however, we've got mixed feelings about this one; we're concerned that, with so many projects coming to HBO, and only so many prime-time slots available, it's becoming as much a graveyard of projects as anything else, and we wonder how many of these announced projects will make it to the air. Ultimately, we'd always pick the big screen over the small, and we worry that too many potentially great films may be being lost to television, particularly if they end up being changed in the attempt to make an open-ended, long-running series. Still, "Beat The Reaper" has landed somewhere where it can be as dark and uncompromising as the source material, and we guess that's something to celebrate.

This article is related to: Leonardo DiCaprio, HBO , Brian Koppelman, David Levien


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates