To mark the streaming arrival of “The Knick” on HBO Max, Steven Soderbergh joined Rolling Stone for an interview to reexamine the first two seasons and to look ahead at the still in-development third season. “The Knick” ran for 20 episodes on Cinemax before being canceled. Soderbergh and his team were not only planning a third season at the time (to be shot in black and white, no less), but from the start they had also been eyeing a six-year run for the medical period drama.
“Our six-year plan was Seasons One and Two as you saw it,” Soderbergh said. “Seasons Three and Four were going to skip forward 50 years. It was going to be right after World War II, brand-new characters, brand-new cast. And Seasons Five and Six were going to be set five minutes into the future, with a mix of actors from the previous four seasons. I was really excited to do all of that.”
When Cinemax decided to end “The Knick” after Season 2, Soderbergh was hardly surprised. As the director explained, “I think when the show ended and it was clear that it wasn’t going to continue, it got subsumed by the neverending tsunami of new content that shows up on these platforms almost every day. But then in the interim, even though they didn’t continue with the show in the way that we’d originally imagined, [creators Jack Amiel and Michael Begler] and Barry Jenkins and André [Holland] have been developing a new iteration of the show that skips forwards in time, and that’s looking very promising.”
Soderbergh is referring to news that dropped last September confirming “The Knick” would continue with a third season designed around André Holland’s Dr. Algernon Edwards. A potential third season has not officially been greenlit by HBO or HBO Max, but Soderbergh has read a pilot script.
“I can say that I read an excellent pilot, and that HBO has it. I hope that goes forward,” Soderbergh said. “I’m being very respectful in the sense that this is their show. I’m kind of in the background and trying to be consiglieri when that’s appropriate, but it’s really their show. It was their idea, they’ve been developing it. They send me things to read, but I’m just here to cheerlead.”
The first two seasons of “The Knick” are now streaming on HBO Max.