HBO Taps Into Political Climate, Orders Wag The Dog TV Series

You may have noticed the current political climate is….highly charged?  A hot topic for discussion?  Trying to think of the most middle ground thing to say here. In a world where The West Wing hasn't aired on television since 2006, perhaps it's time for a series of that ilk to make it's way back onto the airwaves.

The Hollywood Reporter broke a story yesterday about a new tv series HBO is developing, based on the 1997 black comedy Wag The Dog.  The phrase "wag the dog" is used to indicate that attention is purposely being diverted from something of greater importance to something of lesser importance. Example of Use: "He's wagging the dog to keep you from discovering the truth about the car wreck."

Oddly enough, when the '97 film came out, it was literally a MONTH before the President Clinton/Lewinsky scandal hit, which of course begged the question if someone in the production KNEW something ahead of the press, or if it really was just good timing.

One of the big take aways here for this new HBO series is Wag The Dog film director Barry Levinson will adapt his 1997 political satire as a comedy for the small screen, with Robert De Niro attached as an exec producer.

In the film, De Niro (who played Conrad Brean) was a top-notch spin doctor, and is brought in to take the public's attention away from a giant breaking scandal involving the President. Brean decides to construct a fake war with Albania, hoping the media will concentrate on this instead. Dustin Hoffman played Stanley Motss, a Hollywood producer, who creates the fake war on a soundstage complete with a theme song and fake film footage of a photogenic orphan (Kirsten Dunst) in Albania.

HBO has called this new Wag The Dog "an ode to the classic film but moving the weapons of mass distraction beyond politics and into business, entertainment and, yes, nonprofits. In the 21st century with the tools of social media at their hands, nothing is off limits to a small group of operators when it comes to manufacturing reality. Fake news is so yesterday."

No word yet on any casting, but hopefully we'll see at least one or more of the original cast making a cameo.

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About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool. 

Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 

 Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 

 Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional
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