Academy Award winner Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries and Sony Music Entertainment announced today the June 1 debut of new eight-episode podcast series, titled Death on the Lot.
Death on the Lot focuses on the untimely deaths of the biggest stars in ’40s and ’50s Hollywood, featuring interviews with insiders including director Ron Howard, actor James Cromwell, Academy Award-winning actress Lee Grant, and more.
Developed and hosted by McKay, Death on the Lot will dive into the cultural transformation of post-war America, Hollywood’s fabrication of a new American dream, and Hollywood unions and labor strikes. Relevant to the current writers’ strike, episode 2 will cover labor and the movie industry, and the way that striking movie workers were talked about by those in power in the ’40s and ’50s.
Check out the audio trailer for Death on the Lot below.
In each episode, McKay will focus on the story behind one celebrity’s tragic death and the cultural implications that upended their life. The podcast will cover the deaths of gangster Willie Bioff, method actor John Garfield, teenage idol James Dean, Superman actor George Reeves, first Black Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel, swashbuckling star Errol Flynn, and western legend John Wayne. Death on the Lot will also provide an overarching view of the transformation of the U.S. following World War II, as well as a divide the country faced between the rising right wing seeking to create conformity and fear and the left wing fighting for civil rights.
In reporting the series, McKay and team conducted interviews with experts, journalists, and Hollywood insiders, including director Ron Howard, actor James Cromwell, Academy Award-winning actress Lee Grant, cultural critic and historian Isaac Butler, Hattie McDaniel’s great grand-nephew Kevin Goff, Sidney Poitier’s daughter Sydney Poitier Heartsong, and Errol Flynn’s daughter Rory Flynn and grandson and child star Sean Flynn.
“The first season of “Death at the Wing” was one of the most satisfying and fascinating projects I’ve ever personally been a part of. It combined a real-life murder mystery, history and incredible personal stories to paint a truly unique portrait of the 1980’s. Now we’re looking at the ’40s and ’50s through the lens of a spate of tragic and bizarre deaths in Hollywood.”Adam McKay
Death on the Lot is a follow-up to McKay’s acclaimed podcast Death at the Wing, which focuses on the tragic intersection of basketball, politics, and socioeconomics in the 1980s that led to an extraordinary number of deaths of rising basketball prospects.
The series is executive produced by McKay, Hyperobject Industries’ Clare Slaughter and Harry Nelson, and Jody Avirgan of Roulette Productions, who also serves as series editor. Brian Steele and Hadley Meares are writers on the series, which they completed writing on earlier this year.
All episodes of Death on the Lot will be available to subscribers of The Binge on June 1. Listeners can subscribe to Death on the Lot for new weekly episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever you listen to your podcasts.