Politics is more absurd than ever in 2017, and pop culture continues to reflect that. The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively announced that HBO us working on a TV series adaptation of the 1997 satire “Wag the Dog.” The half-hour scripted comedy sounds like it would be a perfect companion for the political high jinks of the network’s Emmy winning “Veep.”
“Wag the Dog” seems eerily relevant now 20 years after its original release. It told the story of a Washington spin doctor (Robert De Niro) who teamed up with a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to invent a fictitious war in order to distract the media and the public from a presidential sex scandal right before an election. The idea of using foreign war to divert attention away from domestic controversy recently reentered the public discussion after Donald Trump bombed Syria and Afghanistan. And of course accusations of “fake news” has become a common refrain from the commander-in-chief.
Hoffman’s performance earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. The film was also nominated for its screenplay by Hilary Henkin and famous playwright David Mamet (“Glengarry Glen Ross,” “American Buffalo”). The film’s director, Barry Levinson, is on-board as executive producer and director of the HBO adaptation. But instead of Mamet the series will be written by another playwright: Pulitzer Prize nominee Rajiv Joseph (“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”).
What do you think of HBO’s decision to make “Wag the Dog” into a series? Is it the perfect choice, or are you sick of politics? Comment below, and join the discussion on this and more in our forums.
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