With the year of horrors now behind us, 2021 is looking like the “comeback kid” and HBO Max is ready to meet your programming expectations.
Over ten new original series are slated to premiere throughout the year, including a few spinoffs and reboots.
Beginning January 4th, the Spanish-language horror series from acclaimed director Alex De La Iglesia, 30 Coins, will be available to stream in the U.S.
Shot in Rome, Paris, New York, Jerusalem, Geneva, and throughout Spain. 30 Coins follows Father Vergara (Eduard Fernández), an exorcist, sent away by the church, to become the local priest of Pedraza, a remote town in Spain. When inexplicable terror begins to plague the idyllic community, the local vet Elena (Megan Montaner) and the town’s mayor, Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), form an unlikely alliance to understand the source of the strange and demonic events.
30 Coins is the latest international program made available to U.S subscribers and can be found on its new International Genre page alongside a curated selection of programming from all around the world.
Painting with John, an all-new unscripted series written, directed and starring the cult favorite musician, actor, director and painter, John Lurie; will premiere on HBO Max January 22.
Part meditative tutorial, part fireside chat, each episode of PAINTING WITH JOHN finds the artist ensconced at his worktable, where he hones his intricate watercolor techniques and shares his reflections on what he’s learned about life. Combining images of Lurie’s paintings, original music, and irreverent point of view on tapping into your childlike artist side, his overall ambivalence toward fame, and more, the series reminds us to prioritize a little time every day for creativity, fun and a bit of mischief.
John Lurie’s career has spanned music, film, television and art. From 1979 to 2000, Lurie led the musical ensemble The Lounge Lizards. He is the creator and star of the television series “Fishing with John” and has composed and performed music for 20 television and film works, including his Grammy-nominated soundtrack for the series “Get Shorty.” Lurie has appeared in HBO’s “Oz,” as well as “Stranger than Paradise,” “Down by Law,” “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Wild at Heart,” among others. In 1999, Lurie recorded “The Legendary Marvin Pontiac Greatest Hits” under a pseudonym and in 2017, he released “Marvin Pontiac: The Asylum Tapes.”
HBO has given a series order to the drama The Last of Us, based on the critically acclaimed video game developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for Playstation platforms. The story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.
Craig Mazin (HBO’s “Chernobyl”), Neil Druckmann (“The Last of Us” and “Uncharted” video game franchises), and Carolyn Strauss (HBO’s “Chernobyl” and “Game of Thrones”) are executive producers along with Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells and PlayStation Productions’ Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan.
Emmy nominated comedian and writer Sam Jay has been given a series order for a weekly late-night show.
The series will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.
The UNTITLED SAM JAY PROJECT will be a weekly 30-minute late-night show in which Sam tackles the top trending topics in urban and world culture for the week – including race, politics, sexual identity, science, celebrity, religion, and more – and examines them from her unique and subversive point of view.
“I’m really excited to bring my point of view to late-night television and have felt nothing but support creatively from HBO and A Penny For Your Thoughts,” said Jay. “So everyone wear your mask and vote so I can make my TV show! Thaaaanks!”
Called “heady and profane” by The New York Times, Sam Jay is an Emmy-nominated writer for “Saturday Night Live” whose first one-hour comedy special, “Sam Jay: 3 in the Morning,” recently debuted on Netflix.
HBO Max has greenlit Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s Jane Doe Films limited docuseries Not So Pretty from studio Entertainment One (eOne). The four episode, half-hour investigation-driven project will bring awareness to the lurking dangers in the commodities we all use every day without question for makeup, skin-care, nails, and hair. The series will mark the first-ever comprehensive large-scale investigation exposing the trillion dollar cosmetics, beauty and personal care industry.
“Not So Pretty is a landmark exposé that will both captivate and educate viewers,” says Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president original non-fiction and kids programming, HBO Max. “Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are masters of investigative storytelling and prime to reveal the unknown threats that affect us all. This series gives us the opportunity to spark change and arm consumers with the knowledge needed to make smarter personal care choices. We are pleased to continue our relationship with them after the acclaimed release of On The Record.”
HBO Max has ordered a limited event series from Ava DuVernay and Robert Patino. The four-part limited series, DMZ, is a futuristic drama set amid a second civil war and is based on the comic series published by DC. Patino serves as the writer and showrunner while DuVernay will direct.
“’DMZ’s’ unflinching story of a country torn apart resonates eerily and profoundly amid our current state of the union,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “With the powerhouse visionary team of Ava and Roberto at the helm, bringing this critically acclaimed DC gem to life promises to entertain and inspire hope.”
In the near future, America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. Leaping off the pages of the popular comic, “DMZ” chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (series star Rosario Dawson), who sets out on a harrowing journey to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City at the onset of the conflict. Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (series star Benjamin Bratt), the popular — and deadly — leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ. He wants to rule this new world — and will stop at nothing to secure that outcome. In this adrenalized and expansive drama which examines a stark political and cultural divide in American society, Alma must contend with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords that control this lawless no man’s land. In doing so, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone here has lost…hope.
Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt lead the cast alongside Freddy Miyares, Hoon Lee and Jordan Preston Carter.
Alicia Vikander will star as “Mira” in IRMA VEP, a limited series written and directed by Oliver Assayas. Loosely based on Assayas’ 1996 feature film of the same name, A24 is producing the limited series along with Kevin Turen, Sam Levinson and executive produced by Alicia Vikander.
“I have been a long-time admirer of Olivier and his work,” said Vikander. “I am very excited for us to work together, and to be a part of the expanded universe of his superb cult classic, ‘Irma Vep.’ There are a lot of brilliant people coming together and I am delighted to be partnering with HBO and A24 on this special project.”
“I am immensely grateful to Alicia, A24, and HBO for giving me the incredible opportunity to explore and expand Irma Vep in a series format,” said Assayas. “This is a comedy that will try and catch the zeitgeist the same way the original Irma Vep did, in a very different world, a very different era, that right now feels light years away.”
IRMA VEP will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.
Jake Gyllanhaal to star and executive produce The Son, HBO’s new limited series directed by Denis Villeneuve. Is based on “The Son,” from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Jo Nesbo, which is described as a tale of vengeance set amid Olso’s brutal hierarchy of corruption.
“Jonah and Lisa are a formidable creative force and we are excited to collaborate with them again, alongside the brilliant Lenore, to adapt Jo Nesbø’s novel,” said Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President of HBO Programming. “Denis is a master at weaving visually exquisite and unique narratives, Jake is a gifted actor and producer whose work often traverses provocative and compelling terrain, and of course, he and Denis have collaborated brilliantly in the past. We are beyond excited to see how this powerhouse team tackles this exceptional work.”
A new DC action-comedy series starring John Cena is coming to HBO Max. PEACEMAKER, from writer/director James Gunn and produced by Warner Bros. Television, will be an origin story on the master of weapons from the highly anticipated upcoming Suicide Squad film.
HBO Max has given a straight-to-series order of eight episodes for the first season of the show. John Cena will reprise his role from The Suicide Squad movie to star in the series, and the film’s acclaimed writer/director James Gunn will write all eight episodes of Peacemaker and will direct multiple episodes, including the first. The film is set to release on August 6.
While details about Peacemaker are being kept under wraps, the series will explore the origins of the character that Cena will play in the upcoming film, a man who believes in peace at any cost — no matter how many people he has to kill to get it.
James Gunn said: “Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag. I’m excited to expand The Suicide Squad and bring this character from the DC film universe to the full breadth of a series. And of course, to be able to work again with John, Peter, and my friends at Warner Bros. is the icing on the cake.”
John Cena said: “I have said before that it has been a tremendous honor and an incredible opportunity to be part of The Suicide Squad and to work with James on what is going to be a fantastic movie. I am unbelievably excited to have the chance to team up with him again for Peacemaker. We can’t wait for fans to see this.”
Spread the word Upper Eastsiders – just when netflix says goodbye to New York’s elite. All six seasons of Gossip Girl are now available on HBO Ma and just in time for the launch of the series reboot.
Based on the original CW show (2007-2012) and bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar. The reimagined drama finds a new generation of New York private school teens being introduced to social surveillance eight years after the original bloggers website went dark.
“Josh Safran has found a perfect partner in Karena to illustrate how the landscape of social media, the upper east side and the world have changed since ‘Gossip Girl‘ premiered 13 years ago,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “Additionally, her passion for inclusive storytelling matches Josh’s and we are proud to have her on this journey with us.”
Award-winning director Karena Evans to direct the pilot and second episode of the upcoming series ‘Gossip Girl’ set to launch later this year.
“I couldn’t be more excited for Karena to launch the new series,” said Joshua Safran, writer and executive producer of the series. “Her vision, voice, and passion are incomparable. It’s an honor and a privilege to get to work with her, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what she has planned.”
Checkout musetv.com for more on the all the new programming.