Safdie Brothers HBO

Josh and Benny Safdie, the writer/directors behind anxiety-inducing indie thrillers like Good Time and Uncut Gems, are heading to premium cable. The duo and their Elara Pictures production shingle have set up a two year first look deal with HBO, and A24 – the company that produced and distributed their two biggest movies – is also involved. Read more about the new Safdie Brothers HBO deal below.

According to Variety, the Safdies and fellow Elara co-founders Sebastian Bear-McClard and Ronald Bronstein have signed a two year first look deal with HBO, and A24 will executive produce every project under the deal. The distributor will also team up with Elara on “select projects outside the deal,” further cementing A24’s commitment to being in business with the Safdie brothers.

To me, this deal is interesting for multiple reasons. HBO seems like a great TV home for the Safdies, whose past two movies have been the cinematic equivalent of a two-hour panic attack. They make propulsive movies that are often vulgar and violent, so knowing that they won’t be put on a leash is good news for fans of their style of storytelling. It also seems like a big win for HBO. The premium cabler is constantly on the lookout for top tier talent to deliver water cooler-worthy content, and with Uncut Gems finally hitting Netflix in the United States earlier this week, more people than ever now have access to the movie and could help make the Safdies into a household name outside of cinephile circles.

From an industry standpoint, I also find it particularly fascinating that HBO, and not Showtime, were the ones who made this deal with the Safdie Brothers. In February, we wrote about how the filmmaking duo was teaming up with Nathan For You‘s Nathan Fielder for a Showtime comedy series called The Curse, which “explores how an alleged curse disturbs the relationship of a newly married couple who star in Flipanthropy, their troubled HGTV show.” You’d think the brothers’ established relationship with Showtime might result in a deal there, but HBO swooped in and locked ’em down instead.

Despite The Curse being announced, the Safdies have yet to direct a television project. So we’ll be keeping our eye out to see whether that show is able to move forward or if a new show will work its way through development and beat The Curse to the finish line.

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