As part of the Amazon Prime Video showrunners panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail was in attendance—not for his lauded series, but for a new project. Esmail is helming the television adaptation of Homecoming, based on the Gimlet Media podcast that was a hit upon its premiere in late 2016.
While the original podcast starred Catherine Keener as case worker Heidi Bergman, who strikes up a friendship with veteran Walter Cruz (Oscar Isaac) while helping him and other veterans readjust to civilian life as part of the mysterious “Homecoming” initiative, the TV version has Julia Roberts filling that starring role. Amazon shared the first teaser for the series at SDCC.
The teaser doesn’t give too much away, but that’s how it should be. There are strains of the podcast’s familiar theme intertwined with appropriately enigmatic shots, and a quick intro to Heidi herself before we begin, as we should, with a tape recorder:
Personally, I’m a little leery of how this story will translate to television. I was a big fan of the podcast in season 1—and eagerly devoured season 2 in a number of hours when it was released last year—but for me, a lot of its appeal lay in how it utilized a purely aural medium, through session recordings and voicemails and realistically awkward phone conversations. (David Schwimmer was a perfect mix of bumbling and threatening on the “phone” as Colin Belfast, to be replaced in the TV adaptation with Bobby Cannavale.)
That said, creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg are adapting the series for a new medium, and I’ve really admired Esmail’s vision with Mr. Robot. So, I’m interested to see how Heidi and Walter’s story changes when we’re not just listening to them, but watching them as well. The series also stars Sissy Spacek, Alex Karpovsky, and Dermot Mulroney.
Homecoming premieres November 2.