Patti Smith’s “Just Kids” is pretty much hands down one of the most moving, beautiful and lyrical memoirs we’ve ever read, and news that Smith herself will be turning into a limited series on Showtime is more or less the best news ever.
The book, released in 2010 and winner of basically every award out there, largely details Smith’s relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The two met when Smith was working at a book store in 1967, and began an extraordinary and often tumultuous relationship that greatly influenced each other’s work. It began with an intense romance, though Mapplethorpe would eventually come to terms with sexuality and begin seeing men. Smith calls him “the artist of my life” in the book, which covers their relationship right up until Mapplethorpe died from complications from AIDS in 1989.
This is an epic opportunity, and one we are happy Smith herself will be co-guiding with John Logan (“Penny Dreadful”).
“A limited series on Showtime will allow us to explore the characters more deeply, enabling us to develop stories beyond the book and allow a measure of unorthodox presentation,” Smith said in a statement. “The medium of a television limited series offers narrative freedom and a chance to expand upon the themes of the book.”
One big question is obviously who plays Smith and Mapplethorpe. In an interview years back, Smith made her dream casting clear. Yep, Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart.
“I remember the very first time I saw Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson together, when they were younger, and I thought, Those two kids could have easily played us when they were first starting,” Smith told Vanity Fair. “There’s something in his eyes. And Robert [Mapplethorpe] was also a bit shy, and a bit stoic. Kristen has a very special quality. She’s not conventionally beautiful, but very charismatic.”
However, Smith went on to say that while that would have been okay say five years ago, she’d rather cast relative unknowns now.
“We were unknowns, and I think it should be unknowns in the film, and young,” she explains, adding, “I love Mia Wasikowka. I love the girl who plays Hannah—Saoirse Ronan. She’s brilliant. The depth of that girl. There’s a lot of interesting actresses and actors for any project. It’s a subject I like to think about.”
An episode count for the series has not been determined. Notably, Smith also recently announced a sequel to “Kids” titled “M Train” will be released October 6 via Knopf.