Before James Gandolfini’s death, “The Sopranos” actor had set out to produce and possibly star in a HBO drama based on the book “Big Dead Place.” Now, the project is back on track with the addition of director Timothy Van Patten, Variety has confirmed.
Still in development, there’s new hope for the potential series as “Boardwalk Empire’s” Patten — who directed many “Sopranos” episodes — is now attached as exec producer and director.
Originally set up in 2011 by Gandolfini who had a long-standing production deal at HBO, “Big Dead Place” is inspired by Nicholas Johnson’s 2005 memoir about working for U.S. Antarctic Program. Described as a survival tale, the story is set in the strange and menacing world of Antarctica where scientists, bureaucrats and blue collar grunts working at McMurdo Station fight for the existence of the last unconquered continent.
Before Gandolfini died, he was set to exec produce “Big Dead Place” with “Breaking Bad’s” Peter Gould, Jimmy Miller, Brian Swibel and his managers Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong. Sam Hansen was also attached as a co-exec producer.
Gandolfini will still get an exec producer credit, as he spearheaded development and had exec produced the project until his sudden death on June 19, 2013.