Actor Casey Affleck arrives on the red carpet for the 14th Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, 27 January 2008. | Photograph by: GABRIEL BOUYS , Calgary Herald
The future of the troubled, Alberta-shot miniseries Lewis and Clark has become even murkier, with HBO confirming Wednesday that the screenplay will be rewritten and the project redeveloped before any filming resumes.
The high-profile series, which starred Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts as the American explorers, began shooting in June in various locations of southern Alberta. By August, HBO shut down the production and announced that director John Curran and director of photography Rob Hardy had left the project “for creative reasons.” It was expected to return in spring, but a story in the Hollywood Reporter Wednesday revealed HBO will significantly retool the miniseries and that existing Alberta-shot footage might be scrapped.
According to the story, Lewis and Clark will be redeveloped with Masters of Sex showrunner Michelle Ashford rewriting the script. This new version will need to be greenlit again. If it is, HBO will have to determine whether or not to use the original Alberta footage or start from scratch.
Tom Benz, Motion Picture Business Agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) 212, which had a number of members working on the shoot in the summer, said he has not heard any details from producers about the future of the project but said this new development was not necessarily bad news for Alberta.
“Personally, I look at the locations and the story and I think that at all times Alberta will be a top contender no matter what other locations are considered,” Benz said.
Benz added that producers of the miniseries first began scouting Alberta as a possible location as far back as 2001.
There is no word if Affleck and Schoenaerts will remain with the production or if the parts will be recast.
HBO initially greenlit the series back in January of 2015, working with an all-star roster of producers that included actors Edward Norton, Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt.
Norton, Curran and Ashford wrote the original script based on the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose, which told the story of America’s first contact the native tribes of the country west of the Mississippi River.