One of television’s most successful showrunners is taking his talents to Spain. David Simon, the creator of HBO’s The Wire and other influential television series, will soon focus on the perils of civil war rather than street-smart characters.
After working at the Baltimore Sun from 1982 to 1995, Simon wrote Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, which ultimately inspired the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street. But many know Simon as the mastermind behind HBO’s The Wire, which ran for five seasons from 2002 to 2008. The Baltimore-set drama is widely regarded as one the best televisions series ever produced, with each season focusing on different aspects of the city’s relationship with business, politics, and organized crime. Earlier this decade, Simon reunited with HBO for Treme and was also behind the 2015 miniseries Show Me a Hero starring Oscar Isaac. Last September, Simon’s latest HBO production, The Deuce, was picked up for a second season.
Per Variety, Simon is collaborating with Spain’s Mediapro for A Dry Run, a series that will examine the United States’ military involvement during the Spanish Civil War. Specifically, the drama will focus on the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln Battalions’ experiences within an international brigade, and how the war shaped “the preeminent political narrative of the 20th Century.” The Spanish Civil War lasted from 1936 to 1939, and the Nationalist victory established a military dictatorship under Francisco Franco.
During an interview, Mediapro’s founder, Jaume Roures, hyped the project by emphasizing Simon’s screenwriting abilities, while Simon himself noted that A Dry Run will be steeped in “realism” and that the series definitely won’t have a traditional happy ending. On Twitter, Simon has yet to acknowledge today's news, while pop culture journalists have been relatively quiet as well. However, long-time Simon fans will be thrilled to learn that both Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos have reportedly committed to write for the new series. Pelecanos co-created The Deuce with Simon, and previously collaborated with him on The Wire. Lehane is best known for writing the novels Gone, Baby, Gone, Mystic River and Shutter Island, all of which were adapted into feature films. He also wrote for Season 4 of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
Simon has exceptional talent for establishing a specific atmosphere with his productions, all the while developing relatable yet deeply flawed characters. A Dry Run will reportedly be an English-language series, allowing American viewers to easily connect with the main characters while simultaneously learning a valuable history lesson, at least from Simon’s perspective. So, what do you think? Do you want to see familiar faces in A Dry Run, or would the narrative be more effective with a cast of relatively unknown performers?