Scorsese directed the two-hour premiere that screened with his signature full-throttle flourish, and he, Winter and Jagger certainly don’t skimp on the sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll or violence. “Vinyl” has been in production for close to a decade, and at the premiere, which was held at the Ziegfeld Theatre, showrunner Winter told Variety that there was “an overlap” between the start of this series and the end of his previous show, “Boardwalk Empire.”
“I got involved in 2007. I got a call from Martin Scorsese, who said, ‘I’m working on this music project with Mick Jagger. Do you want to be involved with it?’ And I said, ‘uh, yeah, I do.’”
According to Winter, “Vinyl” started life as “a sweeping epic that spanned over 40 years, and it was a three-hour epic period piece, and timing wasn’t right. We had our project up and running around 2008, and suddenly the economy collapsed, and the appetite to do a massive period piece set in the music business sort of waned,” Winter explained. “And we thought, ‘well, we already have ‘Boardwalk Empire’ going, why don’t we try reinventing it as a series?,’ and that worked so much better. It gave us much more real estate to work with.”
“Vinyl” stars Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Juno Temple and Ray Romano, and revolves around the world of American Century, a record label that’s on the verge of collapsing due to Cannavale’s character’s drug problems. Viewers get an inside look at how to cheat artists out of their royalties, cook the books and other classic music industry malfeasance. And as with Winter’s previous work — he was a head writer on “The Sopranos” and wrote the script for “The Wolf Of Wall Street” — the often toxic masculinity is neither explicitly celebrated nor condemned.