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Wendell Pierce Reveals He Tried To Produce A Prequel To 'The Wire' Starring Samuel L. Jackson

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist April 25, 2013 at 9:45AM

It must be an occasionally frustrating prospect for David Simon to ponder: as his superb HBO series “Treme” struggled with viewers (to the point where it's only receiving half a final season), “The Wire” continues to grow in popularity and adoration. It's then understandable that Simon would shun a return to the Baltimore streets, but that hasn't stopped actor Wendell Pierce from lamenting an intriguing prequel idea.
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The Wire Wendell Pierce

It must be an occasionally frustrating prospect for David Simon to ponder: as his superb HBO series “Treme” struggled with viewers (to the point where it's only receiving half a final season), “The Wire” continues to grow in popularity and adoration. It's then understandable that Simon would shun a return to the Baltimore streets, but that hasn't stopped actor Wendell Pierce from lamenting an intriguing prequel idea.

Through a series of Twitter posts, Pierce, who played detective Bunk Moreland on the show, described a film prequel that he “tried to produce” but couldn't obtain a greenlight for. In it, Pierce says, he had “Samuel L. Jackson playing the kingpin running the [Franklin Terrace] Towers, when Stringer & Barksdale started a war and took over.”

One of the main conflicts of the show had to do with Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris) running his operation out of the Towers, alongside his childhood friend and partner Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) -- two domineering presences that Jackson would likely match and more.

It seems the factors against a Kickstarter campaign are too insurmountable though; Pierce wrote, “We are all too old now and many actors have passed on,” and that they “can't convince [Simon] it's a good idea” to return to the show. Part of this decision may have to do with visibility: Elba was not the name he is now when he played Stringer, and Jackson has obviously reached a superstar status that the world of “The Wire” might completely clash against.

Nevertheless, it appears this may actually be one series unlikely to go further, but for more of Simon's take on the U.S. drug wars, check out his appearance in Eugene Jarecki's fantastic documentary, “The House I Live In.”

This article is related to: Television, TV News, Wendell Pierce, The Wire, David Simon, Samuel L. Jackson


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