Posted on Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
HBO has released a thirteen and a half minute behind the scenes featurette for the Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese created Prohibition-era gangster television series Boardwalk Empire. The new series focuses on Steve Buscemi, who plays the undisputed ruler of Atlantic City and town Treasurer, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, who is described as “a political fixer and backroom dealer who is equal parts politician and gangster and equally comfortable in either role.” Watch the featurette after the jump, and see why this is quickly becoming my most anticipated television series of the near future.
Making Boardwalk Empire:
“Boardwalk Empire” on HBO is from Terence Winter, Emmy Award-winning writer of “The Sopranos,” and Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese. HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” TV series is set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, when the sale of alcohol became illegal throughout the United States.
America in 1920. The Great War is over, Wall Street is about to boom and everything is for sale, even the World Series. It is a time of change when women are getting the vote, broadcast radio is introduced, and young people rule the world.
On the beach in southern New Jersey sits Atlantic City, a spectacular resort known as “The World’s Playground,” a place where rules don’t apply. Massive hotels line its famous Boardwalk, along with nightclubs, amusement piers and entertainment to rival Broadway. For a few dollars, a working man can get away and live like a king-legally or illegally.
In HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” the undisputed ruler of Atlantic City is the town’s Treasurer, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, (Steve Buscemi) a political fixer and backroom dealer who is equal parts politician and gangster and equally comfortable in either role. Because of its strategic location on the seaboard, the town is a hub of activity for rum-runners, minutes from Philadelphia, hours from New York City and less than a day’s drive from Chicago. And Nucky Thompson takes full advantage in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”
Along with his brother Elias (Shea Whigham), the town’s Sheriff, and a crew of Ward Bosses and local thugs, Nucky carves out a niche for himself in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” as the man to see for any illegal alcohol. In “Boardwalk Empire,” he is an equal opportunity gangster, doing business with Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg), Big Jim Colosimo (Frank Crudele), Lucky Luciano, (Vincent Piazza) and Al Capone (Stephen Graham).
As HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” TV show begins, Nucky’s former protégé and driver Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) returns home from the Great War, eager to get ahead and reclaim his rightful place in Nucky’s organization. But when Jimmy feels things aren’t moving quickly enough, he takes matters into his own hands in “Boardwalk Empire,” forming a deadly alliance with some associates of Nucky’s that set the Feds, led by Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon) on his mentor’s tail. Complicating matters further is Nucky’s burgeoning relationship with Margaret Schroeder, (Kelly Macdonald) a local woman in an abusive marriage whom he tries to help out.
HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” also stars Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire”) as Chalky White, the leader of the city’s African-American community; Gretchen Mol as showgirl Gillian; Dabney Coleman as Nucky’s mentor The Commodore; and Paz de la Huerta as Nucky’s girlfriend Lucy.
Created by Terence Winter, HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” is executive produced by Terence Winter, Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg. Gene Kelly is co-executive producer; Rudd Simmons is producer. “Boardwalk Empire” is directed by Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Jeremy Podeswa, Alan Taylor and Allen Coulter. HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” is written by Terence Winter, Lawrence Konner, Howard Korder, Tim Van Patten, Paul Simms, Margaret Nagle, Steve Kornacki and Meg Jackson.
HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” TV show is inspired by portions of the non-fiction book “Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City” by Nelson Johnson.