×
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

  • Joseph Mawle

    'Lord of the Rings' Series at Amazon Casts 'Game of Thrones' Alum Joseph Mawle

    Amazon’s upcoming “Lord of the Rings” series has cast Joseph Mawle in a main role, Variety has confirmed with sources. Mawle joins previously announced cast members Will Poulter and Markella Kavenagh. Official details of Mawle’s characters are being kept under wraps, but sources say he will play a villain named Oren. Amazon declined to comment. Reps [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Jacob Tobia Joins

    TV News Roundup: Jacob Tobia Joins 'She-Ra and the Princess of Power'

    In today’s TV news roundup, “She-Ra and the Princess of Power” Season 4 adds Jacob Tobia, and The Weather Channel announces the premiere date for its climate change special with the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.  CASTING Jacob Tobia has joined Netflix‘s “She-Ra and the Princess of Power.” Voicing Double Trouble, Tobia joins Aimee Carrero, Karen Fukuhara, [...]

  • TV Ratings: 'Watchmen' Premiere Draws 1.5

    TV Ratings: 'Watchmen' Premiere Draws 1.5 Million Viewers

    Who will watch the Watchmen? Turns out 1.5 million people, that’s who. The debut of the highly anticipated HBO series delivered that many sets of eyeballs across all the premium cabler’s platforms on Sunday night. For comparison, Sunday’s premiere was up 21% in linear on last week’s “Succession” season finale, and up 20% from the [...]

  • Variety Sundance Portrait Studio

    Melanie Lynskey Joins Showtime Pilot 'Yellowjackets' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Melanie Lynskey has been cast in one of the main roles of the Showtime ensemble drama pilot “Yellowjackets,” Variety has learned exclusively. The project tells the story of a team of talented high school girls soccer players who survive a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Boosting Efforts in Project Development Amid Agency Standoff

    The Writers Guild of America, locked in a six-month standoff with major talent agencies, has announced that it’s boosting efforts at gathering TV, streaming and film project development data to help members find new employment opportunities. The WGA made the disclosure in a message to members on Monday. The guild directed its 15,000 members to fire [...]

  • Amy Poehler Jessica Goldberg

    Amy Poehler, Jessica Goldberg Team for 'The Mother-in-Law' Put Pilot at NBC

    Jessica Goldberg is set to write a drama with a put pilot order at NBC that Amy Poehler will executive produce. The project is titled “The Mother-in-Law,” based on the novel of the same name by Sally Hepworth. It is described as a thriller centered around a woman’s complicated relationship with her husband’s family that [...]

  • Beau Willimon Hulu The First

    Beau Willimon, Katie Cappiello to Produce 'Slut' Series Adaptation at Netflix

    Playwright Katie Cappiello is teaming with “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon to bring an adaptation of her 2013 play “Slut” to the small screen. The show, titled “Grand Army,” is set up at Netflix with Odessa A’zion set to lead the cast. “Grand Army” follows five students at the largest public high school in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content