Well, once again, HBO proves that they are the masters at attracting top talent to come to their network. Just this year, their roster includes filmmakers such as David Mamet and Steven Soderbergh, the latter finally being able to make “Behind the Candelabra,” his long-gestating Liberace film with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon (coming out later this month). They also have the Duplass Brothers, Cary Fukunaga, and Guillermo del Toro, to name a few, with projects on the horizion. And now you can add Lisa Cholodenko to the mix.
Her project is “Olive Kitteridge,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Elizabeth Strout. Playwright Jane Anderson has adapted the collection of short stories into a four-hour mini-series and Lisa Cholodenko is attached to direct with Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins starring. “Olive Kitteridge” tells the story of “a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive (McDormand), whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and a staunch moral center.” Richard Jenkins would be playing her husband. Here’s the Amazon book synopsis:
At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.
As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.
Having this project get off the ground has to be exciting for McDormand, who bought the rights to the book with her own money a few years ago. She will also be producing the film alongside Tom Hanks and his Playtone producer partner Gary Goetzman. As for Lisa Cholodenko, this appears to be her most promising project yet. She hasn’t been behind the camera since 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right,” though she was attached for a while to “Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” before leaving the gig earlier this year — we’d say she’s landed on her feet quite well. [Deadline]