With the airing of last night’s action-packed finale, HBO has delivered a gripping climax to its ten-episode Stephen King adaptation, The Outsider. Focusing on a community rocked by a gruesome child murder, the show, like the book, was something of a genre-buster, tipping from police procedural in its first half into full-blown supernatural horror in its second half. Given its steady ratings climb and the finale’s post-credits scene, it’s possible that HBO will go The Leftovers route with The Outsider and continue the series with new stories beyond the scope of King’s novel. The mythology at play in the narrative might even allow the network to anthologize it, adopting a new cast and setting in its second season, as AMC did last year with its Dan Simmons adaptation, The Terror.
For now, however, the dust is left to settle around a stellar first season with a top-of-the-line ensemble cast led by Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo. Developed by Richard Price — the author/co-screenwriter of Clockers and co-creator of The Night Of miniseries, among other things — the show adhered to many aspects of the book while also deviating from the source material in some notable ways. Price penned the majority of episodes, with executive producer Jessie Nickson-Lopez and novelist Dennis Lehane also picking up writing credits. Here, we’ll look back on the season as a whole and examine some of the changes they made in order to bring King’s vision to television.
Major spoilers lie ahead, of course.
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Stephen King knows horror. He’s spent the last few decades at the top of the bestseller list, raking in mountains of cash by giving readers the creeps. While King’s tales of terror are loaded with the supernatural, the author understands that to make all those paranormal shenanigans truly terrifying, they need to happen to real, everyday people. The otherworldly needs to come creeping into our world, and make us realize there’s a night side lurking out there, full of things waiting to grab us.
Which is what makes King’s novel The Outsider, and its new HBO adaptation, so chilling. Adapted by The Wire writer Richard Price, HBO’s The Outsider is the ultimate tale of otherworldly nightmares creeping into our existence. It starts off seeming like a standard, if particularly gruesome, true crime story. And then the real nightmare begins.
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If you haven’t started watching HBO’s The Night Of, you should. The miniseries follows Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as a Pakistani-American college student who, after a night of partying with a female stranger, wakes up to find her stabbed to death and gets charged with her murder. Based on the British television series Criminal Justice, the critically acclaimed HBO show features a compelling mystery which gives us a look into the devastating criminal justice system.
Nasir “Naz” Khan’s case is quickly picked up by a plea lawyer named John Stone, played by John Turturro. One aspect of the series that I’ve seen a lot of people talking about is a subplot involving Turturro’s character battling a weird foot condition. On the show, Stone explains:
It’s eczema. My dermatologist says to keep them aerated — like that’s going to cure anything. I don’t know. Maybe it helps, I really can’t tell.
The affliction gets a lot of screen time in the first three episodes, causing a lot of viewers to wonder what possible purpose it serves in the series. So why is John Turturro’s foot condition a significant subplot of The Night Of, and what might it possibly represent?
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Based on Peter Moffat‘s 2008 BBC series Criminal Justice, HBO’s upcoming remake of The Night Of has no shortage of talent behind it. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) directed nearly all eight episodes of the miniseries, making this is his first directorial effort in over a decade since the critical and financial misfire All the King’s Men. The director’s latest effort, which stars John Turturro (Fading Gigolo) and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), looks significantly more appealing than that remake.
Below, watch The Night Of trailer.
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A lot of people might not recognize the name Mabrouk El Mechri, but I bet a lot of you recognize the name of his last film: JCVD. He’s finally about to follow up that film with a kidnapping thriller called The Cold Light of Day, which was announced earlier this year. And he’s got Henry Cavill from The Tudors along for the ride. Read More »
A writer’s writer, author Richard Price (Clockers, The Wire) just released what is possibly his best reviewed novel yet, Lush Life, and now Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin (No Country For Old Men) will produce the feature film adaptation with Miramax. Price will write the screenplay.
The novel centers around a murder that occurs when a restaurant manager and a bartender walk a drunken friend home on New York’s Lower East Side and are (allegedly) accosted by muggers. Working in his signature genre, the police procedural, Price examines modern life in NYC and how it functions, with New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani recently writing about the novel and its author, “no one writes better dialogue than Richard Price-not Elmore Leonard, not David Mamet, not even David Chase.” High praise indeed.
Previous Price adaptations haven’t connected with his fans and audiences (Spike Lee’s Clockers) or critics (2006’s Freedomland), with Phil Kaufman’s 1979 adaptation The Wanderers being the best and somewhat of a cult classic. Variety reports that Rudin served as a casting director on the latter film, and while Price previously scripted underwhelming Rudin pictures like Shaft and Ransom, Lush Life will be shooting for golden statuettes. Good to see the already great career of a hard-knock writer advance another level.