EXCLUSIVE: HBO has set The Kids Are All Right helmer Lisa Cholodenko to direct and Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins to star in a miniseries adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Elizabeth Strout novel Olive Kitteridge. Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will be executive producers along with McDormand and her As Is banner and Jane Anderson. Anderson adapted the book into the four-hour mini. David Coatsworth is producing.
Olive Kitteridge tells the alternately poignantly sweet, acerbically funny, and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive, whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and a staunch moral center. McDormand plays the title character and Jenkins plays her husband, Henry.
Getting this cast, director and a four-hour commitment from HBO is a real testament for McDormand. I’ve been following this one for years, and it started when McDormand fell in love with the book before it won the Pulitzer. She bought it with her own money, and drafted Anderson to write the script. Her gamble has paid off in this being a nice star vehicle for the Oscar-winning Fargo star. She’s repped by WME and Circle Of Confusion, Jenkins by Gersh and Bill Treusch, and Cholodenko by ICM Partners and Partizan.