‘The Corrections’ dead on arrival at HBO
- Last Updated: 12:03 PM, May 3, 2012
- Posted: 11:09 PM, May 2, 2012
Jonathan Franzen is one unhappy novelist. Quite unexpectedly, HBO has scrapped plans to turn his admired “The Corrections” book into a dramatic series.
Production was under way in New York City with a prestigious cast that included Oscar winners Dianne Wiest and Chris Cooper as well as Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
A spokesperson at the Susan Golomb Literary Agency, which represents Franzen, said, “He’s busy and doesn’t want to comment” before hurriedly hanging up the phone.
Sharing in Franzen’s misery are producer Scott Rudin and director Noah Baumbach, who adapted the book for the screen and directed the pilot. Rudin was unavailable for comment.
Winner of the 2001 National Book Award, “The Corrections” tells the story of the Lambert family, a Midwestern brood struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, depression, adultery and other day-at-the-beach topics. The story unfolds over a series of decades, culminating in a final Christmas spent together by the family, and employs a non-linear narrative structure.
While the book’s structure was said to be problematic for the network, a more likely cause for the production halt was the news that HBO would lose $35 million in shutting down its horse-racing series, “Luck,” which was created by David Milch and starred Dustin Hoffman. It is the disaster of the 2012 television season.
While Franzen’s prospects of earning buckets of TV money dimmed, HBO coincidentally announced that it would develop “True Detective,” an eight-episode cop drama starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.
Harrelson scored some great reviews earlier this year in the HBO film “Game Change,” which is on its way to becoming the network’s most-watched movie ever.