John Hoffman interview: ‘Only Murders in the Building’ showrunner

“You don’t say no to that,” says John Hoffman about working with Steve Martin to create the Hulu comedy mystery “Only Murders in the Building.” “I was very intimidated, but I immediately started spinning on a bunch of ideas for it … Then we met for dinner and I was immediately confronted with someone who was completely gracious, open, and generous. And I thought, oh, this could really work.” We chatted with Hoffman as part of our Writers Guild Awards panel with this year’s nominees. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

“Only Murders” follows three residents of an upscale Manhattan building — played by Martin, Selena Gomez, and Martin Short — who are united by their love of true-crime podcasts and team up to investigate when one of their neighbors suddenly dies. “A mystery has particular things that are difficult. A mystery comedy is another thing that makes it a little bit challenging. And then trying to find the balance is the real challenge,” Hoffman explains. “And boy did I need a lot of help with sorting out the details and keeping track.”

But writing “Only Murders” also “demystified it a little bit because I realized a lot of the scripts I’ve worked on before this, they were all kind of mysteries. Whenever you work on a story, you’re always burying things and revealing things.” This particular story has earned Hoffman three WGA nominations: Best Comedy Series and Best New Series for the writing team as a whole, and Best Episodic Comedy for penning the premiere episode with Martin. And he’ll have more stories to tell since the series was renewed for a second season. “I can’t stop thinking of ideas on this one … It’s easy to get too many seasons if we are so lucky.”

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UPLOADED Jul 12, 2022 1:37 pm