If you watched FX’s The Riches, you know just how badly we need Eddie Izzard to head up his own show again. In between touring, the comedian and actor has popped up here (Hannibal) and he’ll pop in there (Powers), but come on now, that’s not enough. So let’s all join cross-fingered hands and get a little P-town mantra mojo going for Izzard’s latest project, an HBO series written by Orange Is the New Black’s Jenji Kohan, and directed by Gus Van Sant (The Sea of Trees , Milk, Good Will Hunting).
The Devil You Know will (amusingly) feature Izzard as “conservative, rigid and devoutly Puritan patriarch” and Thomas Putnam. Set in 17th century New England during the time of the Salem Witch Trials, as the village begins to fall apart, Putnam finds his role as leader among the town’s farmers being challenged.
Nadia Alexander (Boardwalk Empire, Jamie Marks Is Dead) will co-star as “bright, ambitious” Ann Putnam Jr., “who is unsure of her role as a woman in this world but determined to discover her place in it.”
Also joining the pilot is newcomer, Ismenia Mendes:
She’ll play a “captured” servant girl.
On the one hand, this description sounds like an NBC series that’d be cancelled after barely finishing out one season - but on HBO? With Kohan’s vehicle and Izzard driving, I can see this being darkly humorous and slightly terrifying. And Van Sant will add a beautiful polish.
The Devil You Know begins production this spring.