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Daniel Craig To Star In Limited Series Adaptation Of Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Purity,’ Directed By Todd Field

Daniel Craig To Star In Limited Series Adaptation Of Jonathan Franzen's 'Purity,' Directed By Todd Field

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. 

READ MORE: Canadian Remake Of James Bond Film ‘For Your Eyes Only’ In The Works, ‘Spectre’ Followup Starts In Spring

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: 

Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother–her only family–is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she’ll ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world–including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.

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.

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