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‘Homeland’ Director Lesli Linka Glatter Breaks Down the Finale and Why Season 8 Might Not Be the End

The Emmy-nominated director joined IndieWire's Very Good Television Podcast to talk all things "Homeland," including what's next.

Homeland Season 7 Claire Danes


Kata Vermes/SHOWTIME


When Season 7 wrapped at the end of April, it marked one of the best seasons of “Homeland” to date — perhaps the best since Damian Lewis’ departure. That made it even harder to hear Season 8 might be the end, as stated by producer and star Claire Danes.

Well, it wouldn’t be “Homeland” without the possibility of a twist ending: In an interview on IndieWire’s Very Good Television Podcast, producer and director Lesli Linka Glatter said that plan is not yet official.

“I think there’s still discussion about that, quite honestly,” Linka Glatter said. “I think it’s still up in the air in some way.”

Linka Glatter went on to say the producers haven’t even broken the story for Season 8 or settled on a location.

“We’ll go and do our annual spy camp, as we call it affectionately, [where] we go and meet with the intelligence community in D.C.,” she said. “Usually, from those series of meetings, the writers will go in the writers’ room and start cooking up the season.”

Reports first started surfacing that Season 8 would mark the end when Showtime gave “Homeland” a two-season renewal in 2016. Since then, nothing has been confirmed by the premium network, though Gansa has said he’s planning to make Season 8 the last chapter. (He also said next year’s edition will take place “hopefully in Israel.”)

Linka Glatter directed her first episode of “Homeland” in Season 2 and was quickly brought on board as a producer for Season 3. She helmed four episodes in Season 7, including the premiere (“Enemy of the State”) and the finale (“Paean to the People”).

“One of the things that’s been so amazing about being on the show is that we reinvent the show every year,” she said. “And what’s great about that is it stays new and fresh and it keeps us all on our toes, and what’s bad about that is it never gets any easier. We’re always going to a new city, hiring a new crew — kind of reinventing the wheel.”

Homeland Season 7 Claire Danes

For Season 7, the “Homeland” team took account of the current political climate in America.

“This year, with what’s going on in the world, is a very unique [season],” Linka Glatter said. “We’re in a time that’s more divided than I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. So certainly that was carried into Season 7. We are in a world out of balance. No one is listening to either side. It doesn’t really matter if it’s good for the people. No one is reaching across the aisle.”

That inspired an ending that won’t be spoiled here, but served as a beacon of inspiration and an honest acceptance of sacrifice. But “Homeland” isn’t all Linka Glatter is doing. Earlier this year, she partnered with Jennifer Salke to create the Female Forward initiative, which provides female directors training as well as the opportunity to direct an episode of network television.

“There are a lot of programs for shadowing, and I think those are great,” Linka Glatter said. “I shadowed when I was beginning [because] that’s how you learn. […] In my opinion, the only programs that are really effective, are those that at the end of it, you offer the participants an episode to direct. It’s one thing to be able to shadow — that’s great — but you really need to get out on the floor. That’s where change is going to happen.”

Though Linka Glatter has at least one more season of “Homeland” left, she’s also planning for what’s next. The Oscar-nominated director isn’t limiting herself to television, nor is she only looking for stories in the vein of her Showtime drama.

“I’m developing a lot of material for next projects,” she said. “In the things I’m developing, it spans a lot of different subject matters. […] As much as I’m interested in politics and big picture questions, I’m also interested […] about how hard it is to grow up. So I’m interested in a lot of different stories about the human condition. […] A lot of the stuff I’m developing is fact-based, but that’s not exclusively.”

Listen to the episode in full below. “Homeland” Season 7 is streaming now on Showtime.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes. Make sure to follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your TV news. Plus, check out IndieWire’s other podcastsScreen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast with Chris O’Falt, as well as Michael Schneider’s podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV each week.

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