HBO is keeping it all in the family. Deadline reports that the network is in the beginning stages of production on a new limited series that would join together Henry Winkler and his son, Max Winkler. King Rex would see Henry leading in the starring role while Max would boss his dad around as the pilot’s director. The creative union would be the first time the father-son duo have worked together in the entertainment biz, leading to a terrific production, or a family-driven faceoff! But, if we put money on it, we’d guess the former.
King Rex pulls its story from Lawrence Wright’s November 1980 Texas Monthly article, “Rex Cauble and the Cowboy Mafia.” A piece of true-crime legend, the story surrounding Cauble and his so-called “cowboy mafia” sounds unbelievable. Charged with running a marijuana smuggling operation, Cauble and several of his mafia members would be chased down by the IRS and the FBI as they tried to rake in as much money as possible before they were shut down for good. Henry Winkler will don the Stetson hat of the Texan gangster, Cauble, and take on a ruthless role, incomparable to anything he’s done in the past.
The idea of jumping into something completely new must be incredibly exciting to Henry Winkler who’s focused most of his career on comedy work since his breakthrough role as the Fonz on Happy Days. From Principal Arthur Himbry in Scream, to our personal favorite, Barry Zuckerkorn in Arrested Development, and, currently, Gene Cousineau in Barry, Winkler has kept audiences chuckling over his decades-long career. It’s almost hard to imagine him as a vicious, money-hungry kingpin, but we’re excited to see it!
As for Max Winkler, his directorial career has grown to new heights over the last year. His name was attached to Freeform’s drama series, Cruel Summer, for which he directed the pilot and served as an executive producer. Previously, he penned and helmed the boxing-crime flick, Jungleland which was released by Paramount in 2020. Soon, Winkler will be adapting photographer Ben Moon’s memoir, Denali: A Man A Dog, A Friendship Of A Lifetime, which he will also direct.
Along with their involvement as a star and director, both Winklers will serve as executive producers on King Rex alongside The 51’s Malcolm Spellman, Nichelle Tramble Spellman, and Eli Danksy with Texas Monthly’s Scott Brown and Megan Creydt. Trey Selman will pen the pilot and co-executive produce.
While everything is still in the very beginning stages for King Rex, we’re really hoping to see production move along. Not only would it be fun to enjoy a project that Henry and Max Winkler worked together on, but the promise of seeing a legendary comedic actor like Henry Winkler plays a rough and tumble drug boss is too much for us to let go of. As always, we’ll keep you posted with updates as they roll in.