The singer/artist/punk poet laureate will produce and pen the limited series with “Penny Dreadful” showrunner John Logan.
“Just Kids” is a snapshot of bohemian New York in the late ’60s and early ’70s, as well as of Smith’s friendship with soon-to-be-famous photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
“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,” said Smith in a statement. “The medium of a
television limited series offers narrative freedom and a chance to
expand upon the themes of the book.”
Smith’s next memoir, “M Train,” about her travels and thoughts on art, arrives October 6.
Here’s the synopsis for the National Book Award winner “Just Kids”:
It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and
the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a
path of art, devotion, and initiation.
Patti Smith would evolve
as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly
provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and
enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second
Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max’s Kansas
City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set
up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous
and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful
fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of
poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and
exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each
other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their
mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another
during the hungry years.
“Just Kids” begins as a love story
and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the
late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and
hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists’ ascent, a
prelude to fame.