The network that made the definitive World War II miniseries is now turning its attention to a much less popular war.
Two years after HBO first began putting the project together, the cabler begins lensing this month on “Generation Kill,” a seven-hour examination of the conflict in Iraq. It’s being written and exec produced by David Simon and Ed Burns from HBO’s critically loved drama series “The Wire.”
While “Generation Kill” will have some of the same spectacle as WWII miniseries “Band of Brothers,” HBO’s newest war epic will actually have more in common with “Wire.” As that series looks at how cops on the streets clash with bureaucrats, “Generation Kill” will look at how elite Marines in the field deal with the same sort of red tape.
Earlier this year, Simon told the Baltimore Sun that the pic would focus on the chaos surrounding the preparation and first few weeks of the Iraq invasion.
“It is a complete metaphor for everything that was going to go wrong with the war,” he said, adding that the Evan Wright book on which the mini is based is “the best narrative journalism out of Iraq that I’ve read.”
Alexander Skarsgard (“Exit”), Stark Sands (“Flags of Our Fathers”) and Lee Tergesen (“Oz”) are among the large ensemble cast set to star in the project. Filming will take place in Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa, with the mini likely to debut in the second half of 2008.
In addition to Simon and Burns, George Faber, Charles Pattinson and Anne Thomopoulos will exec produce “Generation Kill.”