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BLACK SWAN’s Aronofksy Could Direct HBO Pilot About Magicians Out To Kill Adolf Hitler!!

I am – Hercules!!

Director Darren Aronofsky (“The Fountain,” “The Wrestler,” “Black Swan”) has jumped aboard “Hobgoblin,” an HBO pilot for a series about con men and magicians who conspire to bring down Hitler.

The pilot script was written by Michael Chabon ("The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”) and Ayelet Waldman (“"Love and Other Impossible Pursuits”).

It sounds like it could be something akin to a TV-MA “Mission: Impossible – Year One.” It also reminds me slightly of Warren Ellis’ Gravel graphic novels, which follow a contemporary “combat magician.”

Find Deadline’s story on the matter here.


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Readers Talkback
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  • June 17, 2011, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a good premise...

    by QuiGonnDucard

    I like Chabon. Sometimes I like Aronofsky. I just wish he'd stop wearing that damn scarf.

  • June 17, 2011, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Won't happen, but bring it on!

    by dead youngling

  • June 17, 2011, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Sounds wizard!


  • June 17, 2011, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Impossible. Everyone knows The Doctor kills Hitler in September.

    by Doctor_Strangepork

  • June 17, 2011, 2:38 a.m. CST

    In September?

    by V'Shael

    Someone hasn't been keeping up with the news then.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:39 a.m. CST

    So...magicians like David Copperfield? I was thinking like Gandalf

    by BadMrWonka

    cue the nerd rage!

  • June 17, 2011, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Chabon. Magicians. Hitler. HBO. Great.

    by CuervoJones

    I don´t give a shit about Aronofsky, but it sounds great.

  • June 17, 2011, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Actually, magicians *did* kill Hitler

    by newc0253

    they sawed him in half and everything, but he could still twinkle his toes.<p> unfortunately the SS Occult Division knew how to sew him back together and the war went on for another 3 years.

  • Kind of makes me wonder what would happen if time travel technology actually was invented.

  • June 17, 2011, 4:04 a.m. CST

    I'd be more interested in a series about Hitler killing magicians

    by Bass Ackwards

    there's a holocaust no one would bat an eye at. Fucking magicians.

  • June 17, 2011, 4:25 a.m. CST

    Gob Bluth vs Hitler!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Grace_Panda

    they're illusions Michael; Tricks are something a whore dose for money

  • June 17, 2011, 5:09 a.m. CST

    Or candy

    by theGoldbergV

  • June 17, 2011, 5:09 a.m. CST


    by huskerdu2

    Sorry mate, but the Doctor will be killing Hitler in September. The 'delay' being discussed in the news is for next year. 6 more episodes and a Xmas special to come before the end of 2011.

  • Bring us more!

  • with Ellis writing the script.i dont know if AICN has posted these news.

  • June 17, 2011, 5:25 a.m. CST

    What's next? Monkey tennis?

    by Mozzerino

    I'm getting an Alan Partridge-vibe from this concept. I can almost picture the meeting for this idea in my head: "Okay guys, great new TV show idea...come on, we need a good one this time, the guys from HBO are coming over this afternoon and we better give them something! Any suggestions?......Anyone?......Come on, anyone?.... No? Okay, just what I thought. So let's go to the protagonist spinning wheel! First turn....And the winner is..MAGICIANS! Well, that's a start, people like magic and Harry Potter and stuff, right? Let's spin the "Action"-Wheel!......KILL! Great one, for a second I feared it's gonna land on "molest", we dodged a bullet there, guys! Now on to the "antagonist wheel"! And the winner is....HITLER! Jackpot, people! Everybody loves to see that guy getting killed, although my personal favorite would have been Taylor Lautner. But Hitler's good too I guess. So then, Doris! Get HBO on the phone! They are gonna love this!

  • June 17, 2011, 5:38 a.m. CST

    the irony? Hitler isnt even the most evil man in

    by KilliK

    the human history.USA and EURO imperialists,latin dictators,african warlords,asian monarchs,there are plenty of guys out there e who do a lot of evil in the world even today. but i guess it's Hitler's mustache and haircut which makes the difference..

  • June 17, 2011, 5:43 a.m. CST

    @huskerdu2 - Actually, this is different.

    by V'Shael

    The BEE BEE of CEE has pulled all references to Who coming back in the Autumn. This news broke even before the current bruhaha, and may have been overshadowed by it.

  • June 17, 2011, 5:46 a.m. CST

    @mozzerino - I want to see those wheels.

    by V'Shael

    I really really do. One giant wheel of Antagonists. A middle wheel actions like "Meets" "Shags" "Kills" "Avenges" "Romances" "Seduces" "Loses" "Seeks" "Finds" etc.. And the same giant wheel again, only labeled "Protagonists". I should be an iPhone app. And it should match certain wheel results with actual existing movies or TV shows.

  • June 17, 2011, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Might work if they Tarentino it

    by Cosmik

    Ignore actual history and let the good guys get Adolf.

  • June 17, 2011, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Katherine Kurtz did this twenty years ago

    by ellid

    This is NOT a new idea. Kurtz wrote Lammas Night back in the 1980s and it's very similar.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Aronofsky left Wolvie, then jumps on this?

    by thefirerises

    Officially on my shitlist, bro. Also, F HBO. These guys haven't made a single good thing since The Wire. Don't pretend Game of Thrones is high art, its pretty trashy.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:08 a.m. CST

    Next year: Sword Swallowers on the Trail of Mussolini.

    by cookylamoo

  • June 17, 2011, 7:18 a.m. CST

    damn how fucking great is HBO!

    by Titus05

    Aronofsky joins Martin Scorsese (Boardwalk Empire), Michael Mann (the upcoming HBO horse racing drama 'Luck') and now Aronofsky...this is not even including the epic Game of Thrones or even the guilty-pleasure great True Blood...HBO is better then most feature length films these days

  • June 17, 2011, 7:30 a.m. CST


    by JBouganim1

  • June 17, 2011, 7:30 a.m. CST


    by JBouganim1

  • June 17, 2011, 7:30 a.m. CST


    by JBouganim1

  • June 17, 2011, 7:30 a.m. CST

    but seriously..

    by JBouganim1

    why the fuck do that to us? leave us off at that finale. it was the best season ever to any show i've ever watched. jonesy tar and feathers anyone? i think i cried when he was saved

  • June 17, 2011, 7:44 a.m. CST

    I think you'll find that THE DOCTOR killed Hitler,

    by Seph_J

    or at least contemplated it.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:44 a.m. CST

    not to mention..

    by JBouganim1

    that its numbers are basically the fucking same as game of thrones which kills me even more.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Sounds kinda like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

    by ianlegend

    ...but whereas that was during the Napoleonic wars, this'll be WWII. Thinking of it, whatever happened to the film adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell???

  • June 17, 2011, 7:49 a.m. CST

    "Special appearance by David Blaine as 'The Trickless Magician".

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • June 17, 2011, 7:49 a.m. CST

    It would be more fun to change him into a rabbit.

    by cookylamoo

  • June 17, 2011, 8:06 a.m. CST

    So THAT'S why I saw Aronofsky at the Houdini exhibit at the Jewish Museum

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    This sounds like a very cool idea, particularly given that it's coming from Michael Chabon.

  • June 17, 2011, 8:17 a.m. CST

    So nobody on here has read Chabon then?

    by rosncranz

    Michael Chabon has written about magicians, Nazis, and superheroes before. This is completely in keeping with his past work... in fact he even wrote a couple of comics based on the superhero the two protagonists created in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. They were two Jewish kids who created him during WWII, he was a magician and he mostly fought Nazis. I love Chabon, he is an amazing writer and could not be more excited for this... though I could not care any less about Aronofsky being involved.

  • June 17, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST

    The only Magician I was to see on HBO is

    by john

    JOHN CONSTANTINE! Bring us HELLBLAZER - done properly.

  • June 17, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Norrell and Strange.

    by blackwood

    My first thought exactly. Except, you know, completely different. Screw the adaptation -- when is Clarke ever going to write the second novel? Hasn't it been nearly a decade yet? Chabon is a fantastic writer. Maybe to win over more of the geek crowd Herc should have mentioned that he wrote SPIDER-MAN 2 THE FILM MOVIE.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:18 a.m. CST

    My crystal ouija says that they fail.

    by kabong

    Unless they're inglourious basterd magicians.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Inglorious Basterds - with a twist!

    by impossibledreamers

    I put ze Fueher in the box ... PRESTO! Why are people not happy that we killed him the first time? Sorry, but the 'we're goin' after Hitler' story has been done and done and done... Here's an idea. Go after Joe Stalin! That prick killed even more people - most of them his own fellow Russians!

  • June 17, 2011, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Magicians are basically practical jokers....

    by cookylamoo

    with really sophisticated props.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    What a dumb premise

    by FrodoFraggins

  • June 17, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    hobgoblins chasing Hitler

    by Titus05


  • June 17, 2011, noon CST

    The Escapist Basterds

    by jim

    or Inglourious Escapists By the by, what's the latest on the Kavalier & Clay movie? Still happening, limbo, or officially dead?

  • June 17, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST

    not a minute goes by without a big bad spooky nazi pops up

    by shogunshin

    im so sick of propaganda.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Love Chabon but this sounds kinda... real Jewishy.

    by MrMajestic

    I mean really is everyone in this gonna be Jewish? Well I guess Hitler probably won't. Oh and of course the obligatory hot shiksa love interest either.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Please elaborate on your points SHOGUNSHIN and MRMAJESTIC

    by dahveed1972

    Just so we understand you.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Chabon wanted to re-use the title "Wonder Boys"

    by cookylamoo

    But it came out Vunderbar.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    You dweebs need to read more books

    by bowiebot3000

    Chabon is quite possibly the greatest living author. So get excited, mouth breathers.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Hi dahveed1972

    by MrMajestic

    I just meant that with the whole magician/Houdini angle plus both named creators being Jewish then tack on the whole "Let's kill Hitler" plot. Well you know it feels kinda a bit of overkill. I mean I'm no anti-Semite, jeeze I'm even pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. As a kid I grew up with Jewish kids and two of my best friends are Jews, though I think of them more as a dedicated potheads. Heck I was only a couple of credits short of getting a certificate in Jewish Studies in college. So, though I love movies where people beat up Nazis, this movie leaves me cold. Kinda like that Daniel Craig movie a couple of years back. I guess I'm all Shoah'd out.

  • June 17, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST


    by DarthJedi

    Talk about low expectations. How this premise sounds good to anyone is completely beyond me.

  • June 17, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I wonder how this will preach at us?

    by torontoxic

    How do you fit a nonsensical gay clip into this one? Every other HBO show has at least 1 character arc that preaches at people about how gay people are victims and straight people ar not only closet cases but pure evil as well (until they accept their gayness). <P> Fuck HBO. The commercials on AMC are better than the shows on HBO.

  • June 17, 2011, 1:15 p.m. CST


    by MrMajestic

    I understand many Jews are tired of movies where the good Gentiles protect and save them. I feel their pain, I'm Asian and had to suffer through The Last Samurai... <sigh> Indeed in almost all Hollywood productions whenever someone is identified as a Jew he's almost always this defenseless nebbishy dude. So a pro-active Jewish tale is refreshing. On the other hand make the story only about Jews vs. Nazis and then the scope and interest becomes narrowed. So maybe if the tale is more inclusionist like in Inglourious Basterds they might drum up more interest. Howsabout a gipsy con-man looking for vengeance? (sorry about the stereotype) A gay French illusionist who lost a lover? A Russian burglar looking to get even? The Nazis killed all sorts of people. And all sorts of people want to put a hurt on Nazis.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    supermarch, probably gay

    by bowiebot3000

    I'm also guessing from the content of your comment that you don't read. So you wouldn't know that almost all of Chabon's books prominently feature gay characters. We'll keep you posted on when AMC develops a series based on the philosophical musings of Tracy Morgan. In the meantime, go fuck yourself.

  • Let's see Israels track record, they've done mass killings of Palestinians, concentration camps, and they illegally colonize land. Seems like they learned a lot from the Nazis. How about a show about magicians that battle the modern day Nazis, Israelis. It's also important to remember Israelis are European invaders, they are not middle eastern. They're modern day colonialists, nothing else.

  • June 17, 2011, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Another kill Hitler story???

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    Talk about an overdone premise.

  • June 17, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Hitler wouldn't take any shit from magicians

    by CountOrlok

    Where is ze rabbit?!?!? You tell me. Tell me now!!!

  • June 17, 2011, 8:01 p.m. CST


    by Mel

  • June 17, 2011, 8:01 p.m. CST


    by Mel

  • June 17, 2011, 8:01 p.m. CST


    by Mel

  • June 17, 2011, 8:02 p.m. CST


    by Mel

  • June 17, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST


    by Mel

  • June 17, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST


    by Mel

  • June 17, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by Mel

  • Not that there's anything wrong with that!

  • June 18, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Call it Grand Wizards.

    by Dennis_Moore

    Seriously, though, would killing just Hitler end the war?

  • June 18, 2011, 3:14 a.m. CST

    Needs talking dogs

    by INWOsuxRED

  • June 18, 2011, 3:29 a.m. CST

    But they didn't, did they?

    by BiggusDickus

    ...and so there's no connection, no emotion, no audience envolvement, and once everyone has tired of the novelty premise, it'll get cancelled - probably half a season in. Not really worth your time, is it Darren?

  • June 18, 2011, 4:32 a.m. CST

    The Prestige meets Inglorious Basterds?

    by AsimovLives

  • June 18, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Nabster, not all Jews are Israelis.

    by Lenny Nero

    Can't believe I had to write that.

  • June 18, 2011, 10:07 p.m. CST

    this actually happened

    by oisin5199

    Dion Fortune and others in the "Magical Battle of Britain." Look it up:

  • June 21, 2011, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Why not make a show about all the good things Hitler did?

    by MajorFrontbum