Amazon’s ‘Homecoming’ creators Eli Horowitz, Micah Bloomberg speak on adapting the critically acclaimed podcast to a television series
The producers behind Amazon’s ‘Homecoming’ are making history with the first ever podcast turned television series
Amazon’s newest drama ‘Homecoming’ has already made history, being movie star Julia Roberts' first foray in television. However, what many people don’t know is that the series was actually inspired by a podcast on the Gimlet network of the same name. Creators of the series Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg were also the producers behind the critically acclaimed podcast, which starred Catherine Keener, David Schwimmer and Amy Sedaris.
With the influx of interest in true crime podcasts, Horowitz and Bloomberg never had the intention of turning their unique podcast into a series. That said, the hype quickly grew, gaining attention from Hollywood producers and stars, one of whom was Julia Roberts.
MEAWW sat down with the inventive duo to talk about how they turned the popular podcast into a star-studded television series. Even though the podcast itself is scripted, there were many other layers that they needed to add to the story to adapt it to the small screen.
“We needed to rediscover it because the podcast in it’s very core was rediscovering the audio format. So when we were doing it in this visual format, it was a whole new ball game and we tried to fully embrace that as much as we could,” said Horowitz.
“As we started making the scripts for the TV show, we realized there was a lot of information in the podcast that we didn’t need to explain, like what room are they in and who the people were in the background. From all of that came setting and plot and characters and then we dug deeper into the characters and found out a lot more about them. From that came new parts of the story, new twists and directions,” Bloomberg added.
In the creators' rediscovery of the project, they made a conscious choice to not use the same actors that voiced the podcast, most of who were already stars in their own right.
“We were super lucky to have the cast we did for the podcast and it’s still kind of shocking to us that we got all of the stars we did for it. However, when casting for the television series, we were trying to very much appreciate it as its own thing giving life to it instead of re-creating it,” said Horowitz.
That is when one of the biggest movie stars in the world came calling, Julia Roberts herself, who was a fan of the podcast and not only wanted to star in the series but also wanted to come on as a producer. “Julia was a fan of the podcast. She heard it and really connected to the character and wanted to bring her to life. She came to us,” said Bloomberg.
One of the series' other big stars, Bobby Cannavale, was also a fan of the podcast before he even knew it was being adapted into a television series. While working on Sam Esmail’s ‘Mr. Robot’, he approached him about the podcast which was already in works as a series.
“Bobby was a fan of the podcast before he even knew there was a tv show in the works. He was filming ‘Mr. Robot’ when he listened to it. He was a fan of it and rushed to Sam to tell him," Bloomberg said.
It seems Horowitz and Bloomberg have started a trend, as there are now dozens of podcasts being developed into television series with huge stars attached. “It’s happening already with both fictional and nonfictional podcasts because it is a great laboratory and entry way to try out,” said Horowitz.
However, Bloomberg and Horowitz’s process wasn’t strategically planned, as they had no intention of creating a podcast for the sole purpose of turning it into a television series. That said, many podcasts are now being created with an underlying purpose of it being adapted for TV or film.
“The risk is if you are doing it for the purpose of turning into something else, you can kind of feel that. For us we can honestly say that it wasn’t even in the back of our minds and because we were oblivious to it. That’s maybe why we were able to make something that stood out to other people,” Bloomberg added.
The first season of ‘Homecoming’ will be released on Amazon Prime November 2.