If you’re the type of person who pays attention to the people who direct your favorite TV shows (and if you’re reading a site like /Film, let’s assume you probably are), you’ve likely seen two names pop up again and again over the past few years: Michelle MacLaren and Hiro Murai. Both have amassed impressive resumes with credits on some of the biggest and best shows in the world and become mainstays on lists of directors who should tackle the world’s next big-budget franchise movies – but both of them have primarily stuck to the TV realm thus far in their careers.
That streak appears to be continuing, because they’ve each lined up a new show to work on: MacLaren is directing something called Coyote, and Murai will be helming an adaptation of author Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. Read on to learn about each of these shows and where you can eventually watch them.
Michelle MacLaren has directed episodes of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Westworld, Modern Family, The Leftovers, The X-Files, and more. She’s supposed to be making the leap to features by directing Chris Pratt in a Cowboy Ninja Viking movie, but since that project seems to be on hold, MacLaren has a new TV gig in the works.
The Wrap reports that she’ll direct Michael Chiklis (The Shield) in a new series called Coyote for the Paramount Network; she’ll also serve as an executive producer. The 10-episode first season of Coyote, which is slated to air sometime in 2020, tells the story of a border patrol agent named Ben Clemens (Chiklis) who, after 32 years on the job, “is forced to work for the very people he spent his career trying to keep out of America. Now exposed to life on the other side of the wall, Ben will start to question his black and white views of the world, challenging his ideology and his loyalties.” David Graziano (American Gods, Terra Nova) will serve as the showrunner.
“David Graziano, our whole creative team, and I are excited to make a show with Paramount Network and Sony that will dramatize a conversation between Mexico and America,” MacLaren said in a statement. “I have wanted to work with Michael Chiklis for a long time and am thrilled he is playing such a complex character whose journey will expose multiple points of view on this relevant and complicated issue.”
Hiro Murai gained acclaim as the director of several Childish Gambino music videos, including “This is America.” He reunited with Gambino for a 55-minute film called Guava Island that was released on Amazon Prime Video earlier this year, and his credits also include directing shows like Atlanta (where he also worked with Gambino, aka Donald Glover) as well as Barry, Legion, and Snowfall.
Murai is reportedly working on his feature film debut, a sci-fi thriller called Man Alive, but in the meantime, he has another TV project on the horizon. According to IndieWire, Murai will direct the pilot of the post-apocalyptic Station Eleven for the yet-to-launch WarnerMedia streaming service, marking his first pilot since Atlanta.
Told across various time periods and following multiple main characters, “Station Eleven” tracks the remnants of human society after a deadly flu ravages the global population. A roving group of actors, the cast of a doomed Shakespeare production, and inhabitants of an airport make up a few of the interweaving storylines that all somehow trace their way back to the start of the plague.
Patrick Somerville (Netflix’s underseen sci-fi series Maniac) is overseeing the 10-episode first season of this series as the showrunner, while also launching a separate show for WarnerMedia called Made For Love about “a woman looking to escape a restrictive, tech-enforced marriage by moving in with her father in a remote trailer park.”
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