Penny Dreadful creator John Logan is expanding his relationship with Showtime. In a competitive situation, the pay cable network has acquired the rights to Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, for a limited series to be co-written and produced by Smith and Logan. The limited series will be to be produced with Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions.
“Just Kids is one of my favorite memoirs of all time,” said David Nevins, President of Showtime Networks Inc. “Not only is it a fascinating portrait of artists coming of age, but it’s also an inspiring story of friendship, love and endurance. I’m so thrilled that Patti Smith will bring her unique voice to writing the scripts along with the gifted John Logan, who has been doing such a phenomenal job with Penny Dreadful for us.”
Smith and Logan have been working on an adaptation of Smith’s 2010 National Book Award-winning memoir since 2011, after Smith saw Logan’s Tony Award-winning play Red, a bio-play about painter Mark Rothko. Just Kids chronicles Smith’s early, heady days in New York with lover-turned-friend Robert Mapplethorpe, the controversial photographer who, among many other works, shot the classic portrait of Smith for her seminal 1975 “Horses” album.
The memoir delves into Smith and Mapplethorpe’s carousing with the Andy Warhol crowd, and their encounters with rock luminaries like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Mapplethorpe died of AIDS-related causes in 1989, a passage covered by Just Kids in heartbreaking fashion by his longtime muse Smith.
Nevins noted that “every studio and producer in town” had been after Smith’s book. “It didn’t hurt that she was a die-hard Penny Dreadful fan.”