If you’re a fan of Gimlet Media’s Homecoming podcast, then you may be excited to see it now headed to the small screen. Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail is on board to direct and executive producer the Amazon drama, which has already been given a two-season order (the second season of the podcast just started). Julia Roberts is set to star in the series which is described by THR as “a psychological and political thriller that centers caseworker at a secret government facility (played by Roberts) and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life.”
Serialized storytelling via podcasts saw a major resurgence after the popularity of Serial‘s first season, and has led to other great and engrossing audio tales like S-Town. But while those two podcasts are real-life stories chronicling the lives of the (potentially) misunderstood, Homecoming is a fictional work. It’s a nice touch, then, that its creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg will write the adaptation for Amazon, which should preserve their vision for the storytelling.
As for the visuals, there are few directors as out-of-the-box as Esmail, who (for whatever faults Mr. Robot Season 2 had) has a distinct visual style that helped initially make Mr. Robot the hit that it has been (and may be again!) Homecoming is part of Esmail’s overall deal with Universal Cable Productions, which also includes a miniseries based on the seminal sci-fi work Metropolis.
When it comes to Roberts, she is following in the footsteps of many other high-profile actors who are making the move to TV, as better scripts and the call of “prestige TV” have continued to court A-listers away from just movies.
While Amazon continues to find definition among the streaming networks (as it’s currently trying the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach), Homecoming will join another two-season pickup for a David O. Russell mafia drama starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. Other series, like the underrated Sneaky Pete and the upcoming The Tick, have come out of its more democratic pilot program, where viewers can vote on which shows get made.