Over the last decade actors considered to be cinematic A-Listers have been gravitating towards prestige television projects. A few years before that such high-budget productions and such involvement were very much rarities, but with continued success in the ratings and talent on both sides of the camera combining to create projects which might be less commercially safe in the multiplexes, we’re likely to see more and more as time goes by.
The latest big name is Al Pacino. Though he’s done the occasional special or television movie – playing a range of controversial personas: doctor Jack Kevorkian in You Don’t Know Jack, disgraced Penn State coach Joe Paterno in Paterno, the on-trial mogul Phil Spector and appearing as Ray Cohn in Angels in America (and winning Emmys for his work) – the new Amazon Prime-platform thriller The Hunt looks likely to be confirmed this week as his proper television series debut.
He will star as the mentor of Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lehrman) in the ten-part series which follows a team searching for vengeance and untried Nazis in 1970s New York… all touched by tragedy and who discover that a group of high-ranking officials determined to create a Fourth Reich. It is being written by David Weil and will be produced by Jordan Peele (writer and director of the Oscar-winning Get Out). The story is fictional but inspired by real-life searches for ageing Nazi officers that continue to grab headlines.
On the big screen Pacino will next be seen in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (due for release in August) and playing Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman, alongside Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin and Bobby Cannavale