The latest project from the creators of The Wire is not a period-accurate look at a small slice of American history, but an alternate look at an America that never truly happened. All of which is to say, here’s the trailer for The Plot Against America, a limited HBO series from The Wire creators David Simon and Ed Burns.
The series is based on Philip Roth’s book of the same name, which explores an alternative reality where Franklin Delano Roosevelt was defeated in the 1940 presidential election by Charles Lindbergh, he of the flying across the Atlantic Ocean before anyone else and, later, a stolen baby. The book explores what would happen to the Roth family (who is Jewish) given Lindbergh’s antisemitism, which was widely known at the time.
“I believe he’s a good man,” Winona Ryder’s character says. “There are so many, though, who don’t trust him.”
Ben Cole plays Lindbergh, whose fictional presidency sees antisemitism grow both in American domestic and foreign policy. John Turturro will play rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf, while Zoe Kazan stars as Elizabeth Levin. Kazan worked with Simon on HBO’s The Deuce, which wrapped up last year, and also starred in The Big Sick.
The trailer features some haunting patriotic songs set to a few disturbing images of Nazi and anti-Jewish imagery in extremely American places. It’s likely to be a difficult watch for some, even if it’s supposed to serve as an alternate history to our current reality.
“There’s a lot of hate out there,” a voice says about Lindbergh, “And he knows how to tap into it.”
The nine-episode series starts on March 16 on HBO.