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The Wire's David Simon Adapting The Plot Against America as HBO Miniseries

Philip Roth's acclaimed 2004 novel is in good hands

Liam Mathews

The Wire and The Deuce creator David Simon is officially doing another limited series for HBO, Variety reports. The network has ordered a six-part miniseries from Simon and his frequent collaborator Ed Burns based on Pulitzer-winning novelist Phillip Roth's 2004 novel The Plot Against America. Simon had previously announced that he was working on an adaptation, but it hadn't been confirmed as an HBO project until now.

The Plot Against America is an alternative history novel in which Franklin D. Roosevelt loses the 1940 presidential election to aviator Charles Lindbergh, an isolationist and admirer of Hitler, and antisemitic persecution in America increases as the country moves closer to fascism. Many historical figures are characters, but the story revolves around a fictionalized version of young Phillip Roth as he deals with the changes in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey. The novel was written when George W. Bush was president, but an unqualified celebrity becoming president after running on a platform of bigotry is no longer even speculative fiction, so the novel is even more relevant now than it was then. Roth died earlier this year, but before he passed he met with Simon and said he was sure his novel was in good hands.

This will be Simon's fourth limited series for HBO and Burns' third. Their first, The Corner, came out in 2000 and won the Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series and paved the way for The Wire, which was also about the drug trade in Baltimore. Next was 2008's Generation Kill, about the invasion of Iraq. Burns did not work on Show Me a Hero, Simon's 2015 collaboration with writer William F. Zorzi about a housing crisis in Yonkers, New York, but they're reuniting for The Plot Against America.

David Simon

David Simon

Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images

Currently, Simon executive-produces The Deuce for the network, which will return for a third and final season next year. Presumably The Plot Against America will go into production after that.