'Superbad' & 'Paul' Director Greg Mottola To Helm Aaron Sorkin's New HBO Pilot

by Oliver Lyttelton
March 29, 2011 1:25 AM
4 Comments
  • |


We love movies, and (good) television, and stories in general. That's why we do what we do. And sometimes, we get up to see the slate of developing stories, and it depresses the fuck out of us. It can be hard to keep up your enthusiasm when movie versions of "Candyland" and reboots of "Ms. Marple" are the big stories of the day. But fortunately, every few days brings a piece of news that makes us glow a little, that reminds us that there are smart people doing good work, and it's these times that stop us from developing full-blown drinking habits. Well, fuller-blown drinking habits. And today is one of these times.

After the immense success of "The Social Network," which won him his first Oscar, Aaron Sorkin is heading back to TV, the home to work like "Sports Night" and "The West Wing" that made his name, but this time is developing his next venture over at HBO. The show, currently untitled, follows a cable news anchor and his staff, and is heading towards the pilot stage, having announced last week that Jeff Daniels is in talks to play the lead role, Will McCallister. It was already an immensely exciting proposition, but there's one more piece of the puzzle that's come in that's topped it off for us, as Deadline announced that Greg Mottola has signed on to direct the pilot.

Mottola's best known these days as a film director, with three back-to-back successes, albeit of varying sizes, in "Superbad," "Adventureland" and "Paul," but a decade or so of top-quality TV work, on the likes of "Undeclared" and "Arrested Development," followed his debut feature "The Daytrippers," so Mottola knows the form well. Furthermore, that work helped to hone Mottola into one of our favorite comedy directors working right now, and we can think of few better choices for the gig here.

We've read the pilot script, which is set against the backdrop of the Deepwater explosion a year ago, and it's vintage Sorkin; funny, packed with dramatic conflict that'll play out across the series, stirring, impassioned and a far better fit than his last TV work, "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip," which saw Sorkin trying to push his usual interests on a show about a live comedy variety series. With Mottola and Daniels (who should knock his character out of the park) on board, we honestly couldn't be looking forward to this anymore. There's no word on when the show will debut, should it make it past the pilot stage (and it's essentially a dead cert with the talent involved) -- but we imagine it'll air around the start of 2012.

You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

4 Comments

  • Sean | March 29, 2011 12:03 PMReply

    Awesome.
    And for any fans of Sorkin, the guy was on the last 30 Rock episode. I thought it was funny. Tina threw a nice little quip at Studio 60, the rivalling show of 30 Rock.

  • Ryan | March 29, 2011 8:38 AMReply

    Yeah, that's true.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | March 29, 2011 1:48 AMReply

    Fair point, but "Tilda" also had an inside-baseball premise that didn't have that much broad appeal. A behind-the-scenes show about a Chris Matthews-type is way, way more accessible than one about a Nikki Finke-esque movie blogger.

  • Ryan | March 29, 2011 1:43 AMReply

    I couldn't be more excited for this show, but I think "dead cert" is pushing it. HBO recently canned the pilot of "Tilda", which felt like a sure thing with a cast featuring Diane Keaton & Ellen Page, pilot directed by Bill Condon.

Email Updates