Superfans of canceled series “Bored To Death” thought the news couldn’t get any better when it was announced last week that a movie based on the series is officially in development at HBO — but it has! Now, THR reports that creator Jonathan Ames and star Jason Schwartzman are collaborating on another separate project, having optioned the rights to Bernard Malamud’s collection of short stories “Pictures of Fidelman,” with plans to co-write an adaptation starring Schwartzman. The script will center on Arthur Fidelman, a hapless art student who travels to Rome in the mid-twentieth century. Sounds about right for Schwartzman, he being the poster-child for privileged melancholia.
While Ames is best known for his work as creator and writer of “Bored To Death,” which was based on his own short story and used his namesake as its lead, Schwartzman has not often written for the screen. His only produced credit is as a co-writer with Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola on “The Darjeeling Limited.” The author of the source material, Malamud, is regarded as one of the most important Jewish authors of the twentieth century, and often wrote dream-like narratives. The screenplay will be based mainly on two stories in the collection, “Still Life” and “Naked Nude,” but may draw on others as well.
Development is in a very early stage and no financing has been secured. While the “Bored to Death” movie will be a 90-minute project for HBO, it seems that this concept would be intended as an independent film. The trade also notes that Ames has optioned the Donald Westlake novel “361,” which he will adapt with “American Animal” writer-director-star Matt D’Elia, and is additionally writing a feature film adaptation of his own 2005 novel “Wake Up, Sir!” The “Bored To Death” news was exciting, but it’s even better to see Schwartzman and Ames gearing up for post-BTD life with their creative bond intact.