The National‘s Matt Berninger and his brother Tom are taking the dark-comedic energy that fueled Mistaken for Strangers, the 2013 psuedo-documentary focused on the band, and applying it to a new, “more scripted” television project. The National lead singer confirmed during an AMA on the Australian radio station Double J that he would be starring in the series, which is based on his own life, and playing himself. His brother, who directed and plays a fundamental role in Mistaken for Strangers, will also portray himself–“Tom can’t play anybody else,” Berninger quipped. The series will be made up of half-hour episodes.
The Berninger brothers are working on the project with Matt’s wife and frequent co-writer Carin and accomplished Australian TV and film producer and director Trent O’Connell. Berninger explained that the rest of his band would be portrayed by other musicians that worked on the massive, National-helmed Grateful Dead tribute box set Day of the Dead.
“I’m in a band [in it]…It’s a bunch of guys from different bands that we’ve known and been friends with for a long time who play the band,” Berninger said. “And Aaron [Dessner] kind of is in it as a producer, sort of as himself but not really.” In the interview, Aaron Dessner retorted that he doesn’t actually have a “speaking part,” and refers to the project as a “tragi-comedy.”
“We’re hoping it’s a comedy,” Berninger said. “It’s something we’ve been cooking for a while.”
Berninger and Dessner specified that the series “won’t see the light of day this year.” No word of a potential release date or which platform the project will be released on, but we’ve reached out to The National’s representative for further comment. In other The National news, the band has written a musical of Cyrano de Bergerac that will debut this summer.
Listen to Berninger and Dessner discuss the show circa 2:32:00 via a stream of Double J’s site.