In a competitive situation, Showtime has acquired the rights to Mat Johnson’s recently published semi-autobiographical novel Loving Day as a potential comedy series. Talks are underway with high-end writers to collaborate with the author on penning the adaptation.
Loving Day offers a satirical look at a biracial man’s experiences with race, identity and fatherhood. It tells the story of Warren Duffy, an Irish/African-American living in Wales who returns to America after his comic book store closes, his marriage falls apart and his father dies. Now in possession of his late father’s deteriorated Philadelphia mansion – which might be haunted – a new surprise emerges: Duffy learns he has a teenage daughter who thinks she’s white. Spinning from these upheavals and revelations, Duffy sets off to remake his life with a reluctant daughter in tow and a litany of absurdly funny moments together as they bond over their newfound relationship and discoveries of their individual cultural identities.
The book, described as an extended literary metaphor about race and mixed race in America, has been well received by critics. It was published in June by Spiegel & Grau, a division of the Random House Publishing Group.
Philadelphia-born and raised Johnson, the son of an African American mother and an Irish Catholic father, will executive produce the TV comedy project, along with Peter Gethers (Lay The Favorite) and Jeffrey Levine (Too Big To Fail) of Random House Studio.
Johnson, a Professor at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, also wrote the novels Pym, Drop and Hunting In Harlem; the nonfiction book The Great Negro Plot; and the comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain. He is a recipient of the United States Artist James Baldwin Fellowship, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature.