The Golden Age of radio saw a bevy of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars line up to lend their distinctive vocal inflections to everything from Lights Out to Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch: Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Orson Welles, Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart were but a few of the stars of the silver screen that would occasionally moonlight on the popular radio shows of the day, jumping ship to provide a warm and familiar voice to not only those on the home front, but also to the millions of G.I.’s stationed Overseas.
Life is nothing if not a big circle, with both good and bad perpetually circling around in one form or another. In the 21st Century, the pendulum has swung back to an alternate version of the legendary radio programs of the 1920-1950s in the form of the podcast which owes as much to Fibber McGee and Molly as it does to broadband and digital of our day and age. In that spirit, three of the best actors of their generation (or any generation for that matter) – Ethan Hawke, Juliette Lewis and Christian Slater – have signed up to add their voices to a series of upcoming original scripted audio series from Audible and podcast company Treefort Media.
Standing out from the pack of the newly announced productions (as reported by our fellow Camel Caravan aficionados at The Hollywood Reporter) is a doozy entitled Killing Hollywood: The Cotton Club Murder. This drama showcases Rainn Wilson (The Office), Juliette Lewis (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) and Christian Slater (True Romance) in the true story of a drug dealer named Lanie Jacobs who attempts to buy his way into the production of director Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Cotton Club.
The Ethan Hawke-led project is a procedural crime caper called Fishpriest. Hawke plays a bounty hunter in the Bronx circa 1993. Rounding out the announced radio shows, er, podcasts is a little ditty entitled Moriarty which recasts Sherlock Holmes Big Bad Moriarty as – Holy plot-twists, Batman! – a good guy with Holmes now the brilliant yet evil mastermind. Lost alum Dominic Monaghan has landed the titular role in the show.
Rachel Ghiazza, the Executive Vice President and Head of U.S. Content at Audible said in a press release today that her team was “thrilled to kick off this robust collaboration with Treefort Media, a formidable producer of supremely entertaining audio content. Audible listeners have an insatiable appetite for dynamic, high quality scripted audio and we can’t wait to serve them up with these compelling new series to start – and then even more to come.”
Killing Hollywood: The Cotton Club Murder is set to premiere exclusively on Audible this May 27. Drop dates for the Fishpriest and Moriarty have yet to be announced.