Boardwalk Empire Update

Filed under: Top Stories — Boardwalk Empire @ 3:05 pm

Dear Boardwalk Empire Enthusiast,

In February we let you know about a slate of castings that had been announced or rumored for Boardwalk Empire on HBO.

The following updated cast list includes a number of new and exciting additions, roughly in the announced order. Note that Plexus Publishing, Inc. is not involved in the production of Boardwalk Empire on HBO except as publisher of the book on which it is based and accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions in regard to any of the following details, which are subject to change without notice.

  • Steve Buscemi starring as Nucky Johnson
  • Kelly Macdonald as Margaret, an enterprising Irish immigrant
  • Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody, an ambitious punk in Nucky’s gang
  • Michael Shannon as federal agent Van Alden
  • Stephen Graham as Al Capone
  • Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano
  • Aleksa Palladino as Angela Darmody, Jimmy’s wife
  • Paul Sparks as a bootlegging funeral director
  • Shea Whigham as Eli Johnson, a corrupt county sheriff
  • Anthony Laciura as Louis Kessel
  • Charisma Carpenter in an as-yet unnamed role
  • Ann Marie Seall as an Upper Class Babette


Pilot episode locations have been scouted, wardrobe fittings have been scheduled, and filming is expected to begin in early June in New York City and perhaps elsewhere in the Northeast. (It is not known if any Atlantic City, NJ, locations will be used.) A casting call for extras went out earlier this month from Grant Wilfley Casting.


Martin Scorsese, who is a co-executive producer of Boardwalk Empire, is expected to direct the pilot.


In April, Sue Naegle, now in her second year as President of Entertainment at HBO, was quoted by Melissa Grego of Broadcasting & Cable as saying, “In the past they [HBO] would make a pilot, then pick it up and wait to try something new. It resulted in some amazing shows, but also left the pipeline empty and too much pressure on certain shows to work. To have so much pressure on something to go to series was not what I thought was an ideal way to work.” In keeping with Naegle’s philosophy, a pilot for Boardwalk Empire will be produced but a series has yet to be ordered. “If we need to edit, make changes, reshoot anything, we want to have time for all of us to tinker,” Naegle said, speaking generally about forthcoming HBO projects. She added, “They’re moving as if they’re moving into series.”


The HBO/Scorsese production is a dramatization based on the book of the same name, which is a well-researched history of Atlantic City spanning more than 100 years and emphasizing its corrupt political culture. The book is serving the producers as a source of characters, historical background, and inspiration, but readers picking it up expecting it to closely parallel the show are in for a surprise. Plexus is promoting its September edition of the book as “the true story behind the HBO drama from Martin Scorsese.”


HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is set during Prohibition-era Atlantic City—the Roaring Twenties—and concerns bootleggers, corrupt politicians, and assorted criminals both real and fictional. Enoch “Nucky” Johnson (1883-1968), the most powerful real-life powerbroker in Atlantic City history, is being featured as the main character and will no doubt benefit from the quirky virtuosity Steve Buscemi brings to each of his roles.

To learn more about Nucky Johnson, download a free “Sample Chapter” pdf for Chapter 5: The Golden Age of Nucky.


Plexus Publishing, Inc. has announced a September 1, 2009, release date for the general trade paperback edition of Boardwalk Empire. In the meantime, a limited number of new copies of the original 2002 trade paperback are currently available: We urge readers not to pay outlandish prices to unscrupulous resellers for a book that is still available for $18.95/copy from Barnes and Noble and Plexus. This 2002 edition will be declared out of print prior to the release of the trade edition. ( is not offering new copies of the 2002 edition but does allow preordering of the September edition.)


Author Nelson Johnson is scheduled to appear at Book Expo America at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY, where he will sign advance copies of the September general trade edition of Boardwalk Empire from 1:302:30 in the BEA autographing area, Table 21, on Saturday, May 30, 2009.


Plexus Publishing, Inc.’s official site for Boardwalk Empire is In addition, Tom Hogan Jr., Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Plexus, blogs about Boardwalk Empire at Visit the blog for news, rumors, perspective, and unique background information.


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Fax: 609/654-6500

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John B. Bryans, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher,