The world has yet to see season one of The Knick – the new HBO drama that begins on August 8. But, while most other television productions would be anxiously waiting to see how early episodes are received, the noises coming from The Knick camp are confident and unfazed. That’s because Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh is at the helm, and when he is satisfied, it’s all good.
Speaking to Esquire about all manner of things, Soderbergh declared himself “really happy” with The Knick. The 10 episode show, starring Clive Owen, centres on the Knickerbocker Hospital in the early 1900s, as medicine was being revolutionized by scientific approaches. It is dark, gritty and more than a little gory, and gives Soderbergh the perfect format to do what he loves most – tell stories:
“You get to go narrow and deep. I had a great time on it. I was terrified going in – because they basically said ‘yes’ to a pilot script. We wanted a series commitment with the understanding…This is end of May, June, a year ago. We wanted a commitment and we had to start shooting in September. The good news was they said ‘yes’. The bad news was, now we got to write 9 hours in two and a half months, and prep for a 10-hour period piece. We had to shoot 9 pages in a day, and I was really scared. But, it turned out to be a total blast. Clive [Owen] really set the tone. This will sound strange, but – it wasn’t horrible. I thought 570 pages for 73 days… How would you do that? It turned out to be actually… fun. It really was fun. But, the only way you can do that is if you have autonomy on the ground to solve problems moment to moment – the way you want to solve them. Look, I was out. I read this thing last May, right before we were going to Cannes with Behind The Candelabra. I read it and was like, ‘Shit’. I was the first person to get it. I went, ‘Well, the second person who reads this is going to do this.’”
Now that season 1 is in the can, he is already looking toward season 2 – even though there has been no official confirmation yet:
“That’s my plan. We’ll find out within the next couple of weeks. I know they’re happy. I know they like the show. I’m not privy to what money they’ve allocated. But, I’ve made it clear. We know what we want to do – we’ve already worked on breaking out a second year. Everybody wants to do it.
“It’s just about stories. And I’ve never felt just because it’s a big screen and you plop down your eight bucks, that gives it a special meaning. It’s just, ‘Are you telling a good story?’”
In other words, Soderbergh will be infusing his small screen endeavour with just as much visionary power as we have enjoyed in his big screen work – and that makes The Knick one of the more exciting television events in recent years. Will he be telling a good story? Check out the trailer below and place your bets.
Source: The Playlist