‘The Little Things’ on HBO Max: Everything to Know About the Denzel Washington Serial Killer Thriller

The Little Things is the next title in the “Same Day Premieres” initiative from Warner Bros. Just like Wonder Woman 1984, the Denzel Washington thriller has hit HBO Max the same day as its theatrical release and will stay there for 30 days, leaving on Feb. 28.

Led by a trio of Academy Award winners, The Little Things has been in the works for nearly 30 years and has finally come to fruition. Here’s what you need to know about the noir-inspired serial killer drama before you set your next movie night.

‘The Little Things’ is now streaming on HBO Max

Denzel Washington and Jared Leto in 'The Little Things."
Denzel Washington and Jared Leto in ‘The Little Things.’ | Warner Bros.

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Set in Los Angeles in the 1990s, The Little Things follows Joe Deacon (Washington), a Kern County Deputy Sheriff, and Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek), a detective with the L.A. police. The two lead parallel investigations into an apparent serial killer and clash over preferred methods. Their searches for the killer eventually begin to circle a strange man named Albert Sparma (Jared Leto).

The 90s setting for the film isn’t the result of the filmmakers deciding to make a period piece. In fact, writer/director John Lee Hancock first wrote the script for The Little Things in 1993, when the story would have been contemporaneous. At the time, Steven Spielberg circled the director’s chair, according to Deadline, but later passed on the project for being too dark. The likes of Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, and Danny DeVito have also been considered to bring the script to life over the years.

Hancock eventually built up a strong directorial filmography of his over the years, allowing him to helm The Little Things himself. His output includes films like The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Highwaymen.

The film has serious awards credentials in its cast

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The cast of The Little Things is dense with Oscar favorites. Washington won his first Oscar during his early rise to stardom in 1990. The win, Best Supporting Actor, was for his turn as Private Trip, a former slave turned Union soldier, in Glory. Later, he won for Best Actor in 2002 for Training Day, in which he played Alonzo Harris, a corrupt and violent L.A. cop.

Malek won Best Actor in 2019 for his flashy turn as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. He also won an Emmy for the role of hacker Elliot Alderson on Mr. Robot. He will next appear in the Bond film, No Time to Die, as the scarred villain, Safin.

Leto won Best Supporting Actor in 2014 for Dallas Buyers Club. In it, he played Rayon, a transgender woman struggling with HIV. Leto went on to portray the Joker in the 2016 DC Comics film, Suicide Squad. He will get another shot at comic book stardom in next year’s Morbius, in which he plays a scientist who unwittingly turns himself into a vampire. Leto is also well-known as the lead singer for the band, 30 Seconds to Mars.