Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Daniel Craig is set to star in TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's Purity

I love Daniel Craig as Bond but I'm ready for him to move on.

I don't get Showtime so I tend to space out on book2movie news on that particular channel. But this is big. Daniel Craig is going to star in the a 20 episode show based on the book Purity by Jonathan Franzen. I might have to add the premium channel to my cable bill! It's a long way in the future as they don't even start production until 2017. On the other hand, we're halfway through 2016 already. 2017 will be here before we know it. 

Purity was released last year. Here's the lowdown for those of you who might want to add it to your tottering bedside pile. Weighing in at 576 pages you might need a bit of extra time to check it off your list.

A magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom
Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother--her only family--is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she'll ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world--including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.
Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters--Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers--and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.
The original plan was to shoot a feature; adapting a book as complex as this makes much more sense as a series. Craig will play the charismatic leader of TSP, Andreas Wolfe. There is no word yet on who will play the young Pip. 

The series is being produced by Scott Rudin—the Scott Rudin whose snide comments about the president's race came to light in the Sony hack. Rudin the uber-successful producer of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also has a reputation for throwing pencils at his assistants. Hollywood loves assholes. The script was written by Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children).

Obviously the biggest question mark is who should play Pip, real name Purity. Suggestions?

As far as Daniel Craig is concerned, he's just signed on to star opposite Halle Berry in Kings, about the 1992 LA riots after the Rodney King verdict was announced. I was working as a production coordinator on the movie Free Willy at the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank at the time and will never forget looking up from my desk one morning to see the National Guard marching through the studio. Those were dark and frightening times in the city, but Burbank? There was nothing happening there.

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