HBO Films’ O.G., Starring Jeffrey Wright, Directed by Madeleine Sackler and Written by Stephen Belber, Debuts Feb. 23 on HBO
Drama Was Filmed Entirely At An Indiana Maximum Security Prison
The HBO Films drama O.G. debuts SATURDAY, FEB. 23 (10:00–11:50 p.m. ET/PT). Starring Jeffrey Wright (Emmy® winner for HBO’s “Angels in America,” two-time Emmy® nominee for HBO’s “Westworld”), the film is directed by Madeleine Sackler (Emmy® winner for HBO’s “Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus”) and written by Stephen Belber (Emmy® nominee for HBO’s “The Laramie Project”).
The film will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.
Groundbreaking in that it was filmed in an active prison, with several of the incarcerated men and prison staff appearing as first-time actors, O.G. takes an intimate and unflinching look at the journey of one man at the precipice of freedom.
Also starring Theothus Carter and William Fichtner (“Crash”), O.G. premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where Wright won the award for Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film. It was filmed over a five-week period at Indiana’s maximum-security Pendleton Correctional Facility.
The film is executive produced by Sharon Chang, Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Mark Steele, Nic Marshall; produced by Madeleine Sackler, Boyd Holbrook, Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Nick Gordon, Trevor Matthews, Stephen Belber and Ged Dickersin.
O.G. follows Louis (Wright), once the head of a prominent prison gang, in the final weeks of his 24-year sentence. His impending release is upended when he takes new arrival Beecher (Carter), who is being courted by gang leadership, under his wing. Coming to grips with the indelibility of his crime and the challenge of reentering society, Louis finds his freedom hanging in the balance as he struggles to save Beecher.
Director Madeleine Sackler describes the inspiration behind the film’s uniquely realistic approach, noting, “There have been so many prison films that it’s become a genre of its own. To me, when a type of story becomes a genre, it can lose its uniqueness or its specificity in the storytelling.
“My goal was to disregard the prison genre and start from scratch, starting with one character, a man preparing to leave after many years behind bars. To do that as authentically as possible, to truly understand and portray that experience, I wanted to make the film in close collaboration with people going through the experience themselves, so I started calling different departments of correction around the country. And I was very lucky when the state of Indiana called me back.