In some exciting television news, Matthew McConaughey and ‘True Detective’ creator Nic Pizollato have reunited for a new project. The show, ‘Redeemer’, has been picked up on a script-to-series order by FX.
This new project is familiar territory for the two who found great success with the lightning in the bottle that was ‘True Detective’ season one. It is an adaptation of Patrick Coleman’s novel, ‘The Churchgoer’, a story which delves into similarly dark territory.
‘Redeemer’ is Familiar Territory and that is a Good Thing
McConaughey will play the lead, a former minister who found a new life as a security guard. A disillusioned and morally ambiguous individual who goes down the rabbit hole into a criminal underworld teeming with corruption and deceit in his search for a missing woman.
The subject matter of ‘Redeemer’ gives Pizollato an opportunity to explore the themes that are deftly handled in ‘True Detective’. His writing dealt with the darkness of the criminal mind, as well as the flaws of humanity, the leads’ tortured souls, and the banality of small town life. This work earned him an Emmy nomination for Best Writing in a Drama and now he can explore those motifs again.
Part of the magic of ‘True Detective’ was the flawless portrayal of the themes Pizollato explored. McConnaughey was nominated alongside co-star Woody Harrelson for a Best Actor in a Drama Emmy. While this is a testament to great casting and both of their talent, Pizollato deserves credit as well. There is a reason why McConnaughey’s return to television is with Pizollato: they work well together.
‘Redeemer’ is Still in the Works but Expectations Are High
A script-to-series order differs from a straight-to-series order in a major way. Instead of a guarantee that the show will go into production, a script-to-series order allows for a more in-depth exploration of the show. Rather than following the typical pilot treatment, script-to-series allows the creators to further develop the series arc.
This is important for two big reasons. Firstly, the success of ‘True Detective’ relied heavily on the intricate writing with regard to plot and character development. In this deal, Pizollato can lay out the foundation for the series and create a cohesive story.
Secondly, the studio has a little more oversight regarding quality control. While the reunion of Pizollato and McConaughey has many immediately thinking of a recurrence of ‘True Detective’ season one, they are likely forgetting season two. This was another Pizollato project with high expectations that fell remarkably flat. While he was the writer of both of those seasons, there was a tremendous difference in quality. This could have been an accident. It could also have been because of the departure of Cary Joji Fukunaga, who won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for his contributions to the series.
Perhaps, in spite of Pizollato’s overall development deal with FX, some oversight is necessary. Perhaps not. One thing is for certain, Pizollato returning to his routes thematically, reuniting with an actor that can handle his material exceptionally well, and having creative freedom, are all indicators that ‘Redeemer’ could be something special. McConaughey certainly thinks so, signing on as an Executive Producer rather than just as an actor. Taking all of this into account, it is safe to say that fans of ‘True Detective’ are very excited.