Generation Kill coming to HBO in July - VIDEO
I remember seeing a promo for Generation Kill very briefly after the series finale of The Wire, but at the time I didn't think much of it. Which is crazy, really, because the promo clearly states that it's a new mini-series from the creators of The Wire. I should have been psyched but for whatever reason, I sort of just forgot about it. It's not like it's new or anything. David Simon and Ed Burns have been signed on to the project since Februrary of 2007. With the July air-date approaching, I would imagine they've been working on it since The Wire wrapped back in September. I feel like we've heard nothing about it though. Then last week I was in a Barnes & Noble and I saw the book (same title) that the seven part mini-series is based on. I bought it and read it in about 2 days cover to cover. Holy crap was it good.
Written by Rolling Stone contributing editor Evan Wright, Generation Kill is a firsthand account of the Marines of the First Recon Battalion. Wright rode with them for months starting in March 2003, documenting everything, as they became some of the first soldiers to enter into what has become an endless war in Iraq. The book is easily one of the funniest and scariest things I've ever read in my life. It's superb.
And it makes perfect sense that David Simon was the guy tapped to adapt it for film.
For those that have read it, you'll know what I mean, but GK reads just like a Simon book; especially Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets or The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. All three novels are true accounts of reporters just transplanting themselves into these completely unknown territories. By the end, they become part of it in a sense.
The promo for GK looks great (it's embedded at the end of the post) and based on the few lines you hear, it seems like most of the dialogue has been lifted straight from Wright's book. Calling this authentic would probably be an understatement, but you have to keep in mind that this is about soldiers in a war that is still going on. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only other show to ever attempt that was the short-lived FX series Over*There.
Over*There suffered from a lot of problems, especially over-exposure. People were sick of hearing about the war. But that show, which I'm sure was based on some truths, was still fictionalized. Generation Kill is the real deal. Plus, I definitely think it's going to benefit from being a mini-series. Honestly, I think that's enough for most people. It goes without saying that the war in Iraq is a very touchy subject still and anything on TV that tries to depict it is rightfully going to be scrutinized from every angle.
As an added little bonus to Wire fans, take a good look at the screenshot from the promo that I put at the top of the post. It's hard to tell with those Elvis glasses on, but can you tell who that is? It's James Ransone, better known as Ziggy Sobotka on season 2 of The Wire. He plays Corporal Ray Person, one of the main players in Wright's account.