Merchant co-created the British Office and Extras with Ricky Gervais. His new show, The Outlaws, is about people court-ordered to do community service for low-level crimes. He spoke with producer Sam Briger about what inspired the new series, his best writing advice, and how being very tall (6'7") has informed his personality.
His latest film, Last Night in Soho, is set in the present day and tells the story of a young woman named Eloise who is transported in her dreams into the swinging '60s of London, where she lives out the life of another woman.
Promising Young Woman marks the directing debut of Emerald Fennell. The movie has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including best director and best original screenplay. Fennell describes the film as "a kind of fantasy — with wish fulfillment" but also as something "much darker and, I hope, more honest than that."
The HBO series Lovecraft Country takes the real horrors of the Black experience in the 1950s and adds to it the supernatural terrors of the horror genre. Series creator Misha Green says she sees the show — and the novel by Matt Ruff upon which it is based — as a chance to reclaim "the genre space for people of color and for people who had usually been left out of it."
From the March on Washington in 1963 up until his assassination in 1968, the FBI engaged in an intense campaign to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. Film director Sam Pollard chronicles those efforts in the new documentary, MLK/FBI.