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Woody Harrelson: The One Role That Could Lure Him Back to TV

Having escaped being typecast, the "LBJ" star has his eyes on a series of novels to which HBO currently owns the rights.

Theo Kingma/REX/Shutterstock (2047029af) Woody Harrelson 'Seven Psychopaths' film photocall, Toronto Film Festival, Toronto, Canada - 08 Sep 2012

Theo Kingma/REX/Shutterstock

We may not ever get the Marty Hart and Rust Cohle “True Detective” reunion we’re pining for, but Woody Harrelson is considering a return to the small screen — as a sleuth, no less.

READ MORE: Woody Harrelson’s Hammy Performance Almost Makes ‘LBJ’ Worth Endorsing — TIFF Review

At a press conference for “LBJ” at the Zurich Film Festival last week, Harrelson said there’s a chance he could be lured back to television. “There is one project that I would go back to do,” he said. “It’s based on a series of books — the Bernie Gunther novels from [British author] Philip Kerr.”

“He’s a detective during the 30s and 40s in Berlin,” Harrelson said. “He kind of hated Hitler, and was really kind of a rebel in a lot of ways. But he was a hard core investigator and got into so much trouble… You have various people from the German government, the Nazi government that he comes into conflict with. It’s fascinating.”

Gunther is the star of several Phillip Kerr detective novels, most famously “The Berlin Trilogy,” which follows the former police officer-turned-private eye through a murder investigation in WWII Berlin. HBO confirmed that it had secured the rights to the novels and that a project is in the “early stages” of development. It appears that HBO has owned the rights for some time, and the project is being developed in partnership with Tom Hanks’ production company Playtone, with Peter Straughan attached as a writer. Perhaps Harrelson’s interest will bring new life to the project?

“The best entertainment I’ve seen lately is on TV,” Harrelson said, adding that he’d like to take on more comedic roles in the future. “There was a time when I felt like I’d always be typecast as Woody Boyd from ‘Cheers.’ I feel really lucky that I can now do a wide range of things or that I’m asked to do a wide range of things. I’d hate to just be stuck in a rut.”

Right now, that definitely doesn’t seem to be the case. Up next, Harrelson is re-teaming with “LBJ” director Rob Reiner for the Iraq War drama “Shock and Awe,” which begins filming in New Orleans this week.

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