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HBO Passes on Darren Aronofsky WW2 Magic Drama ‘Hobgoblin,’ FX Reportedly Considers

HBO Hobgoblin Darren Aronofsky Magic
HBO / Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

It had been a good long while since we’d heard anything about the development of HBO’s Michael Chabon-scripted, Darren Aronofsky-directed pilot ‘Hobgoblin,’ so much so that we’d nearly forgotten about the World War II period illusionist drama, which has been described as “‘Inglorious Basterds’ with magic.” Now, HBO is said to have officially passed on shooting a pilot, with Aronofsky departing as well, though FX may give the series a chance.

The Wrap made the announcement that HBO declined to produce the pilot, with FX potentially stepping in for a pickup, though neither network offered any comment on the matter. Written by Michael Chabon (‘Wonder Boys,’ ‘Spider-Man 2‘) and his novelist wife Ayelet Walden, with Darren Aronofsky originally attached to direct, ‘Hobgoblin’ was to focus on a group of con men and magicians using their skills in deception and illusion to outwit the forces of Hitler and the Third Reich in World War II.

Impressively, the concept stems from the real-life historical basis of magician Jasper Maskelyne and the “Magic Gang,” who famously created illusions of armies, tanks and battleships, and even misdirected German bombers away from Alexandria and the Suez Canal.

Apart from co-writing the pilot script, Chabon and Waldman will executive produce alongside Le Grisbi Productions’ John Lesher and Adam Kassan, should another network decide to step in.

What say you? Does the ‘Hobgoblin’ concept seem too out there to land a pilot order at any network, now that HBO has passed?

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