In recent years, when one thinks of Boston, you would be forgiven if what springs to mind is crime drama. After all, Dennis Lehane has made a near cottage industry out of tough tales about tough guys in Dorchester or Southie, such as Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River. There was also Martin Scorsese’s The Departed and Ben Affleck’s The Town. Well Affleck and Mystic River’s Kevin Bacon want again to mine that lore while also reimagining a true crime saga for Showtime: City On A Hill.
Based on an idea originated by Affleck, who will executive produce, as well as fellow executive producer Chuck MacLean (Boston Strangler), City On A Hill will return to Beantown’s not so glorious days in the 1990s, when the city was being rocked by organised crime, corruption, and racial tensions. In this context, Boston experienced what locals called ‘the Boston Miracle,’ which was a civic cleanup of the community.
In the series, this miracle will be reimagined in a fictional telling with the arrival of of District Attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge). As a non-native from Brooklyn, Ward will go target corruption and crime in all its varieties, while attempting to recruit the help of a reluctant and corrupt FBI agent named Jackie Rhodes (Bacon), a man described as being “deeply invested in the status quo.”
The pilot, which is scheduled to begin production later this year, will trace Ward and Rhodes investigating a family of armored car robbers out of Charlestown (the setting of Affleck’s The Town). And the criminal conspiracy this will lead to is going to rock the City on the Hill.
Bacon, who will also co-executive produce, is an obvious fit for this material, and Hodge also should make a splash as Ward if the series gets picked up. He has after all already appeared in Hidden Figures and Straight Outta Compton in supporting roles. The pilot is scheduled to go into production before the end of 2017 and also has Michael Cuesta (Homeland, American Assassin) lined up to to direct and also executive produce. Logan’s James Mangold is also attached as an executive producer.