×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Wire’s’ David Simon Developing New Series Set During Spanish Civil War (EXCLUSIVE)

The Wire” creator David Simon and Spain’s Mediapro (“The Young Pope”) are in early development on “A Dry Run,” a drama series following members of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion who came to Spain from the U.S. to fight fascism during the Spanish Civil War.

The scripts have been outlined, and George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane, both of whom worked on “The Wire,” have  committed to “A Dry Run” as writers. The show is so far conceived as a six-hour miniseries, though that could change as the stories develop, said Mediapro founder Jaume Roures.

Simon and Mediapro are seeking to raise the necessary funds both in the U.S. and Europe.

“A Dry Run” will follow the Abraham Lincoln and George Washington Battalions, both part of the International Brigade that fought in the Spanish Civil War, from their arrival in 1937 and first bloody battle in the Jarama Valley until their departure in 1939. The show offers a “compelling and tragic narrative,” Simon said, adding that the “Spanish struggle against fascism and the misuse of capitalism as a bulwark to totalitarianism” represent “the preeminent political narrative of the 20th century and of our time still.”

Added Roures: “‘A Dry Run’ is really one of the great projects for the coming months. Not only for the story…but also for what it means for us to work with David Simon, one of the best scriptwriters of recent years.”

Simon, whose current show, “The Deuce,” is advancing toward a second season on HBO, has written “an extraordinary document that describes the project. When you read it, you can perfectly picture any of the characters of the series,” Roures said.

Simon has also visited battle sites where the Abraham Lincoln Battalion fought. The series will be shot mainly in English, the language of the main characters.

That seems inevitable given Simon’s passion for authenticity. “The style of any work we do bears a basic similarity,” Simon said. “We are interested in realism. And we don’t sell much in the way of redemption or happy endings. And, well, 1939 was no happy ending. Nor was it redemptive.”

The Spanish Civil War was “a dry run for the maelstrom to come,” Simon said, indicating the origin of the series’ title. “But more than that, the events of 1936 to 1939 made clear that capitalism – while it may be an elemental tool for generating mass wealth – offers no moral answer to how people can live or how societies thrive.”

For Simon, “when the Spanish Republic was threatened, capitalism chose tyranny. So the better men who could not abide that choice came to Spain [to fight]. Today, that same choice confronts us again.”

Mediapro is beginning to present the project to potential co-producers. In addition to co-producing HBO’s “The Young Pope,” the company has produced three Woody Allen movies, including “Midnight in Paris,” and has partnered with Netflix on Daniel Burman’s “Edha” and with Amazon Prime Video on soccer documentary series.

More TV

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

  • Ramon Rodriguez

    NBC Drama Pilot 'Prism' Adds Ramon Rodriguez

    Ramon Rodriguez has joined the NBC legal drama pilot “Prism” in a lead role, Variety has learned. “Prism” is an exploration of a murder trial in which every episode is told through the perspective of a different key person involved. Each new version of the facts ratchets up the mystery and the suspense, calling into question [...]

  • Rob Lowe TCA

    Rob Lowe Talks About Life in Boston (England) and His New British Cop Show 'Wild Bill'

    Before shooting his new series “Wild Bill” for Britain’s ITV, Rob Lowe had no idea there was a Boston in England – which the U.S. city in Massachusetts is actually named after. “Wild Bill” is currently in production in the original Boston, in eastern England, and Lowe, appropriately enough, plays a fish out of water [...]

  • ABC-Oscar-Game

    ABC to Launch Oscars Live Play-Along Game With $50,000 Grand Prize

    ABC is hoping to drive viewers to its host-less telecast of the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday by dangling the promise of cold, hard cash to one lucky winner. The broadcaster is launching “The Official Oscar Game,” a live game that will let viewers play along in real time during the awards presentation. The game’s [...]

  • Desus and Mero

    Desus & Mero Are Doing Late-Night Their Own Way

    It wasn’t too long ago that Desus Nice and The Kid Mero were living their lives as Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez, two bored Bronx guys throwing jokes on Twitter about their frustrating jobs. But six years after joining forces, they’re poised to crash the overwhelmingly monochrome late-night talk-show party with their wicked wit, supreme [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell

    CBS Mulls Changes to 'CBS Evening News,' Eyes Norah O'Donnell for Anchor Slot (EXCLUSIVE)

    CBS News is considering making significant changes to its flagship “CBS Evening News,” according to four people with knowledge of the talks, part of a top-down look at the news division by incoming president Susan Zirinsky. Executives are considering putting “CBS This Morning” anchor Norah O’Donnell in the lead role of its evening-news broadcast, these [...]

  • Lena Waithe-Produced Comedy Scores Pilot Order

    Lena Waithe-Produced Comedy Scores Pilot Order from Showtime

    Showtime has ordered a pilot for “How to Make Love to a Black Woman (Who May Be Working Through Some Sh*t), a half-hour comedy anthology series created by Casallina “Cathy” Kisakye. The show landed at the network through Emmy winner Lena Waithe’s first-look deal with Showtime. Kisakye, who will write the pilot, joins Waithe and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content