Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

HBO MVP Alan Taylor will direct the Sopranos prequel

Illustration for article titled HBO MVP Alan Taylor will direct the iSopranos /iprequel
Photo: Getty Images

Welcome to Development Hell, the fiery pit into which we fling recent developments in casting, distribution, and everything else that’s new and mildly interesting in the Boschian phantasmagoria of the entertainment industry.


It’s a relatively mild day in Hell today, as we all recover from the general drunkenness and inescapable, pretty-but-hateful explosions of the July 4th revelry. But we do have an update on the increasingly rosy-looking fate of the Sopranos prequel movie, plus all the hot Ricky Gervais casting news you can eat, so let’s get into it:

  • First up: Alan Taylor, whose directorial track record includes pretty much every big series in HBO history (including major stints on Game Of Thrones, Sex And The City, and The Sopranos) has been tapped as the director of the upcoming Sopranos prequel that David Chase has been steadily moving toward production over the last few months. Although his cinematic credentials are slightly less impressive—his last two films were the both-adequate Terminator Genisys and Thor: The Dark World—Taylor’s still someone who knows Chase’s world of morally complex mobsters inside and out, having directed nine episodes of the original show. [via Variety]
  • Polish comedy blockbuster Panic Attack is starting to make its way into the international markets, with Variety reporting that it’s been sold in Greece, Lithuania, and more, with an eye on moving to the U.K. soon. Per the trailer, the black comedy looks to be a deep dive into our various social anxieties, whether it’s being stuck in an uncomfortable, barf-filled plane seat, or fighting with your mom about whether its okay to eat her dog. (You know, relateable stuff.) And good news for English-speaking audiences who want their plane-barf encounters unsubtitled: Remake rights are apparently already being discussed.
  • The BBC is getting even deeper into its prestige drama mold than it already was; THR reports that the organization has bought out Lookout Point, the studio behind its recent literary adaptations like War & Peace and the upcoming, star-studded adaptation of Les Misérables, with Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins in its leading roles.
  • Finally, in Ricky Gervais news: The British comic—and have you heard that he’s an atheist?—has recruited several stars of prestige franchises like Downton Abbey and Game Of Thrones for his next TV project, the Netflix series After Life. The series will now star Penelope Wilton (Downton) and David “Walder Frey” Bradley, alongside Ashley Jensen, Kerry Godliman, and several other alums from Gervais’ previous shows, all trying to convince his character to be a good person again after a tragedy convinces him to become an angry, selfish prick.

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