Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections for television, with the pilot script co-written by Baumbach and Franzen himself, sounded like a dream come true.
Franzen’s 2001 novel, often described as a masterpiece, was to be turned into a forty-episode adaptation, spanning four series, depending on HBO’s reception of the pilot, filmed earlier this year in Jauary.
Sadly, Variety are now reporting that HBO have decided not to pick it up, which of course puts a big question mark over the future of the project.
Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, No Country for Old Men) has been working on the project for some time now, so I’m really hoping that all is not lost, and that it will be shopped to another network (and soon), because the line-up is fantastic.
In the pilot, Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest play the parents of Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Bruce Norris, with the rest of the cast including Rhys Ifans and Greta Gerwig – an ideal cast, right?
Courtesy of Waterstones, here’s what we had to look forward to, with the plot of the original novel:
“From the author of ‘Freedom’, a panoramic vision of America at the beginning of the 21st century, seen through the turbulent lives of the Lambert family. The Corrections is now seen by many as one of the greatest American novels of the last decade. The Lamberts — Enid and Alfred and their three grown-up children — are a troubled family living in a troubled age. Alfred is ill and as his condition worsens the whole family must face the failures, secrets and long-buried hurts that haunt them if they are to make the corrections that each desperately needs. Stretching from the Midwest in the mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of globalised greed, ‘The Corrections’ brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty into wild collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and New Economy millionaires. It announces Jonathan Franzen as one of the most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.”
Essentially, I don’t believe that the pilot wasn’t worthy of continuing the adaptation. I refuse to believe, because I know the novel is brilliant and Baumbach and the cast are too. Hence my hopes that it will move to another network.
HBO’s penchant for developing somewhat unadulterated programming would definitely be a good reason for why it was an ideal home for The Corrections, given Franzen’s talent for writing scenes adult in nature. But with HBO now turning it down, keep your fingers crossed that Rudin, Baumbach, and Franzen are working hard to keep the project alive and find it a home elsewhere. You can be sure we’ll be bringing you more news as and when we get it.