Steven Soderbergh is making a return to HBO with the six-part miniseries Mosaic, a murder mystery that offers an unconventional viewing experience through the use of an accompanying app, and you can get a closer look with a brand new trailer and poster. Set to air over the course of five consecutive nights, Mosaic stars Sharon Stone as a literary star murdered in a small resort town, with many of the residents becoming suspects in her death. The rest of the cast includes Paul Ruebens, Garrett Hedlund, Maya Kazan, and Devin Ratray (Kevin McCallister’s mean big brother from Home Alone).
Though the interactive experience is part of what makes Mosaic so intriguing — viewers can choose the perspective of which character they’d like to follow as the investigation unfolds — the new trailer is far more interested in selling you on the cast, and on Soderbergh’s return to HBO. In fact, there’s hardly any mention of the second screen experience at all; instead, the trailer plays up the steamier side of Olivia Lake’s (Stone) personal life and the men who may or may not have had anything to do with her murder. Additionally, the trailer puts Ratray’s Detective Nate Henry front and center, helping Mosaic resemble a much more conventional murder mystery, even though, with Soderbergh behind it, it likely will be anything but.
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The Academy Award winning director has worked with HBO in the past, helming the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra before bringing its sister network Cinemax two seasons of the acclaimed series The Knick. That series kicked off Soderbergh’s retirement from feature filmmaking, a retirement that ended this year, as he directed the Channing Tatum and Adam Driver heist-comedy Logan Lucky.
For its part, Mosaic appears to be more in the vein of the psychological thriller Side Effects or even The Underneath than it does his more recent efforts. See for yourself in a synopsis from HBO:
“Set against the backdrop of a mountain resort town, MOSAIC follows popular children’s book author and illustrator Olivia Lake (Sharon Stone), whose literary success makes her a local celebrity in the tight-knit community. At the annual fundraiser, where she is accompanied by trusted friend and confidante JC (Paul Reubens), she sets her sights on a handsome, young newcomer in town, aspiring graphic artist Joel Hurley (Garrett Hedlund). Encouraged by the doting and flirtatious Olivia, he accepts her offer for a place to stay and work, but the unexpected arrival of Joel’s girlfriend, Laura (Maya Kazan), sends Olivia into a jealous tailspin.
Olivia subsequently has a chance meeting with charming stranger Eric Neill (Frederick Weller), another new arrival in town, whose duplicitous intentions to sweep her off her feet for financial gain have an unexpected outcome.
When Olivia disappears on New Year’s Day, leaving behind a blood-soaked studio, MOSAIC becomes an intricate whodunit, and it is up to detective Nate Henry (Devin Ratray) and Eric’s sister, Petra (Jennifer Ferrin), to unravel the mystery.”
The network’s decision to air the miniseries on consecutive nights, starting on January 22 is an interesting deviation from the norm for HBO. Whereas in years prior it may have appeared the network was simply burning the episodes off, it’s much more likely that Mosaic is being seen as a welcome addition to the network’s ever-growing catalogue of original shows that viewers can catch up on at their leisure on apps like HBO GO and HBO Now.
If nothing else, the app-assisted viewing experience will likely be a driver for viewers who tend to watch the network’s programming via streaming rather than as a part of their cable subscription. Mosaic hits later this month, so if you plan to watch, be sure to check out the app now.
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Mosaic premieres Monday, January 22 and continues through Friday, January 26 with a two-episode finale.