Joe Carnahan Finds Inspiration For 'Narc' TV Show In 'True Detective'

The reason Joe Carnahan doesn't make more movies is he doesn't want to make Hollywood movies. The director of The Grey, Smokin' Aces and Narc is one of the most honest and talented filmmakers out there, which isn't always a good combination. It means he sometimes has to leave projects he doesn't feel passionate about or attaches himself to movies that might never get made. That's one reason he's been working a lot in television recently; he feels there's more creative freedom in TV.

Thursday night, Carnahan is set to receive the Mendez Award at the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown; to mark the occasion, /Film had an in-depth conversation with the director. We got updates on Stretch, Death Wish, Nemesis, Continue, you name it. And while we'll run more on those soon, one of the most exciting things we talked about was Paramount's desire to make a TV series based on his 2002 show, Narc.

Carnahan said he was writing the outline right now. He compared it, and the process, to True Detective, in that he could potentially write and/or direct the entire series. Read more about the Joe Carnahan Narc TV show and check back soon for the other updates.

News of the Narc show getting developed broke a few weeks back. At the time, we just knew Carnahan was writing and directing the pilot. Now, we have more details:

I'm writing the outline of it right now. I mean, dude, it's crazy. I came up with, what I thought, was a really cool way of kind of depicting that world right now, particularly Detroit. And Amy Powell, [Head of Television] at Paramount, God love her, really fell in love with it and said, "Listen, do you think we can do it?" And I said, "Yeah."  I mean it's gonna mean some interesting things in terms of the feature and I don't wanna give anything up yet, but it's really exciting, man. It's kind of the perfect television. It's kind of limited, whether you do eight or 10 or what have you. It's a really perfect format to kind of explore that world.

I wanna do something really cinematic and really filmic and keeping it the style... look I thought what Cary Fukunaga [and Nic Pizzolatto] did with True Detective was fucking phenomenal. It just had such a brilliant through line. Just a creative through line. And you knew that the origin was one single voice. That was fantastic. And I may do that on Narc. It's like, that's the thing, between directing maybe potentially eight to 10 of those hour long things over four or five months or whatever and busting my balls to a finance an indie? I'll take the TV side. It's much cooler. And the time, you can really let these things unfold, you know what I mean? Every moment's not like a buzzer beater. It's nice to let it kind of relax and just unfold naturally.

A ten-episode crime drama set in Detroit from Joe Carnahan? That sounds pretty damn fantastic, even if it means we don't see other films on his plate.

Check back soon for more from Carnahan.