As befits a critically acclaimed, best-selling author, adaptations of Jonathan Franzen‘s work attract big league talent. Noah Baumbauch attempted to wrestle “The Corrections” into a series for HBO, starring Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Dianne Wiest, Rhys Ifans, and Greta Gerwig, but got in over his head. And now another one of Franzen’s works is headed to the small screen, also with big league talent involved.
Variety reports that James Bond, a.k.a. Daniel Craig, will star in “Purity.” The limited series will be co-written by Franzen and Todd Field (“In The Bedroom,” “Little Children“), with the latter directing. We’re particularly excited to see Field back behind the camera. It has been a decade since “Little Children,” and while he’s seen a number of projects percolate (“Beautiful Ruins,” “As It Happens,” “The White Tiger,” “The Creed Of Violence,” “Battered Bastards Of Baseball“), none of them have come to fruition.
Showtime, Netflix, and FX are among those who have met with producer Scott Rudin about acquiring “Purity,” which may run twenty episodes, but it’s unclear if Field will direct them all (but hey, if David Lynch can do it with the upcoming season of “Twin Peaks,” why not?).
“Purity” follows a young woman, facing crushing student debt, who falls in with an activist group, in a globe-trotting story that apparently features lots of, uh, “interesting” sex. Here’s the book synopsis:
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.
It remains to be seen how “Purity” will affect Craig’s role as Bond, but given the magnitude of this project, and the actor’s constant complaints about playing 007 during the press tour of “Spectre,” perhaps this signals his goodbye from the franchise. No word yet on when production might be start, but that will likely depend on what network picks this up.