STEVEN SODERBERGH talks THE KNICK – Sequel seasons and TV independence

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The Knick is shaping up to be an interesting mini-series. Starring Clive Owen as Dr John W. Thackery, a surgeon who wants to bring medicine forward by any means necessary. Steven Soderbergh is the man behind the show, and while he’s only done one season, he is keen to do another.

The Knick (1)

According to Soderbergh, The Knick drew him in due to the quality of the material that was before him.  “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,” Soderbergh said to Esquire. ” I went, ‘Well, the second person who reads this is going to do this.’ ”

Soderbergh however, is more well known for his work in film, not TV. And that smaller screen represented all new challenges for the director:

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 nine hours in two and a half months and prep for a 10-hour period piece. We had to shoot nine pages a day and I was really scared. But it turned out to be a total blast.

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.

But thanks to his solid track record, Soderbergh was given a ton of autonomy that would allow him to craft the Knick the way he wanted, which led to Cinemax picking it up:

I said to [HBO president of programming] Michael Lombardo, ‘This may sound a little weird, but I’d rather be the big kid at a really small school. How do you feel about doing this on Cinemax instead of HBO?’ For me personally, I’m going to get a lot more one-on-one. He goes, ‘Actually, that’ll be great.’

Here’s the new set of posters for the series, via The Playlist:

The Knick also stars André Holland, Eve Hewson, Juliet Rylance, Jeremy Bobb, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Leon Addison Brown and Matt Frewer. It goes into surgery on August 8.

Last Updated: July 9, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

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