If there was ever proof that TV is quickly becoming the higher art form over film, then this is it. The Corrections, a novel by famed author Jonathan Franzen, is one of those projects that has been stuck in developmental hell for years. Nearly 10 in fact. And uber producer Scott Rudin has fought to keep it alive since 2001, originally planning to be a feature film. However, like most “unfilmable” works, it has now moved to HBO with a pilot order moving forward.
The Corrections is the elder sibling to Franzen’s most recent novel Freedom. Although the characters are unrelated, thematically the two are cut from the same cloth. They both concern tracing the lives of Midwestern families over an extended period of time. This tracks from the mid twentieth century to the turn of the century. It is a masterpiece of fiction and a project which is dying for an intelligent filmmaker to tackle it for the screen.
The project started life back in 2001, when the book was originally published with Rudin on board. He brought on Stephen Daldry to direct in 2002, who subsequently brought on David Hare to adapt the book for the screen. The trio had major success with The Hours and clearly worked well together. Then things went quiet, in 2005 Hare was still on board but Robert Zemeckis was now in line for the director’s chair and even had an ideal cast in place.
Then in 2007 things went quiet but Hare was still there working on the screenplay. Now after 10 years he has departed and Noah Baumbach has taken over both writing and directing duties with Scott Rudin still producing but now it will be transformed into a drama series with HBO nearing a pilot order. On top of that, Anthony Hopkins is said to be very interested in taking the lead role.
With a novel as big and as dense as The Corrections, a TV series is the best option for it. I don’t think it will be a long lasting multi-season show but I think a 6 to 10 part miniseries would be perfect. We will bring you more news on this fascinating project as we get it.