Days after hitting an all-time series viewership high, HBO’s Big Little Lies today now looks to be kneecapped by accusations of some sharp elbows behind the scenes. Post-production allegations that the premium broadcaster is calling standard collaboration in television and one they stand by.
“There wouldn’t be a season two of Big Little Lies without Andrea Arnold,” HBO declared in a statement Friday following reports that the director was big-footed after shooting was over on the Emmy winning series by Season 1 director Jean-Marc Vallée and showrunner David E. Kelley on the seven-episode latest run. “We at HBO and the producers are extremely proud of her work.”
“As with any television project, the executive producers work collaboratively on the series and we think the final product speaks for itself,” the WarnerMedia-owned outlet added.
Earlier today IndieWire posted an anonymously sourced tale of American Honey helmer Arnold being blindside by the boys on the Nicole Kidman, Resse Witherspoon and now Meryl Streep-led SoCal sunflare filled series. The claimed creative control snatching is in no small part why the supposedly entirely Arnold directed and June 19 debuting Season 2 looks so very similar to the 2017 premiering Season 1 with Vallée’s trademark aesthetics.
In that context, Gersh repped Arnold was never promised full creative control when bought on board last year, sources close to the production tell Deadline. Additionally the Oscar winner given was never given final cut on the second season in her contract.
With praise for Arnold’s work form all sides, the finished product, to use a variation on HBO’s words, was handed over the executive producers, which include Sharp Objects director Vallée, Oscar winners Kidman and Witherspoon as well as Kelly. A fact that might read like a power grab n certain lights but, for better and worse, is actually pretty standard small screen fare for high profile series like BBL and less stardust filled shows alike.
Also one likely not to be repeated with Big Little Lies, as there are no plans for a Season 3 …yet.