Stephan James joins Julia Roberts in Homecoming
VOD News | On 11, Nov 2017
Stephan James has joined Julia Roberts in Amazon’s new drama, Homecoming.
The series, which is produced by Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail, is based on Gimlet Media’s podcast of the same name. The fictional audio drama is a psychological thriller that follows a caseworker at a secret government facility and a soldier keen to return to the civilian world.
The podcast was created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg and has just launched its second season. A collage of telephone calls and conversations, the podcast has attracted all manner of star names, including Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer and Catherine Keener. Horowitz and Bloomberg will write the series, with Esmail on directing duties.
Roberts will play Heidi, a caseworker at a secret government facility. Now, Deadline reports that she will be joined by Shots Fired star Stephan James, who will play the young military veteran with a quite sense of humour who is assigned to Heidi.
The show, which hails from Universal Cable Productions as well as Esmail Corp, is exec-produced by Anonymous Content’s Chad Hamilton, alongside Horowitz and Bloomberg, Alicia Van Couvering, Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg, and Matt Lieber of Gimlet Media. Roberts also will serve as an EP through her production company RedOm, alongside her partners Lisa Gillan and Marisa Gill.
Filming on the show, which will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, will kick off in April 2018.
Amazon picks up Homecoming series starring Julia Roberts
20th July 2017
Amazon has picked up new Julia Roberts drama Homecoming as an original series.
The series, which is produced by Universal, is based on Gimlet Media’s podcast of the same name. The fictional audio drama is a psychological thriller that follows a caseworker at a secret government facility and a solider keen to return to the civilian world.
Homecoming — which on Wednesday launched its second season — is a psychological and political thriller that centers on a caseworker at a secret government facility (played by Roberts) and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life.
The podcast was created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg and is no slouch in the casting stakes itself: it stars Catherine Keener and Oscar Isaac, not to mention David Schwimmer and Amy Sedaris. The podcast returned this week for a Season 2, seven months after its Season 1 finale, with Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat also joining the ensemble.
“We tried to give [season two] its own feel, it’s own heartbeat,” Horowitz, who directs the series, told THR. “It’s got a new palette — new music, new art. I didn’t want to try to squeeze drama from the same note again.”
Since its premiere last year, the podcast has become a Serial-sized hit. The podcast has gone on to spawn an ebook, The Lost Coast, which is designed to accompany the six-episode second run.
“It was always a podcast,” added Horowitz, with the story growing “specifically out of the challenge of how to tackle the possibilities and limitations of an audio drama”.
Now, Hollywood is paying attention. Enter Mr Robot’s Sam Esmail, who is working with Horowitz and Bloomberg to adapt the show for the screen. He will direct, with the podcast creators collaborating on the screenplay. Chad Hamilton of Anonymous Content, plus Alicia Van Couvering, and Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber of Gimlet Media are all on board as exec-producers.
Esmail “was really looking to just flesh out the core storytelling” of the podcast, explained Horowitz. “Each form has its own possibilities and limitations. It’s exciting to now be thinking about this new story in a new form.”
The addition of Roberts and Amazon to the roster only strengthen the project’s profile. Roberts will play the caseworker’s supervisor, while Amazon has ordered two seasons of the series.
The deal saw the online giant beat sizeable competition for the show’s rights. Homecoming will premiere simultaneously on Amazon Prime Video around the world, joining the recently ordered high-profile mafia drama from David O. Russell, which will star Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore.