Paramount TV and Anonymous Content are developing a TV series based on Rachel Kushner’s book Telex From Cuba. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy (Carol) is adapting the novel, a National Book Award finalist, and will serve as showrunner/executive producer. It’s the latest project for Paramount TV and Anonymous Content under their first-look production deal.
Telex From Cuba is set in the American community in Cuba during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution – a place that was a paradise for a time and for a few. These expat families, who ran Cuba’s sugar plantations and nickel mines, employed Cubans in their homes and imported Jamaican workers for the hardest jobs, while living completely separate lives from the natives. Told from multiple perspectives, the novel captures the Shangri-La like world the Americans blissfully inhabited until it all came crashing down on them.
Anonymous Content’s (Spotlight, The Revenant) Rosalie Swedlin and Adam Shulman will executive produce with Nagy.
“I am thrilled to begin work on bringing the complex, beautiful, colliding worlds of Rachel Kushner’s magnificent novel to dramatic life” said Nagy. “The political, social and economic landscapes of Cuba in the 1950s is rich, exciting territory — and I look forward to exploring it all with Anonymous Content and Paramount Television.”
Nagy received an Oscar nomination last week for Best Adapted Screenplay for Carol. She also wrote and directed the HBO film Mrs. Harris, which earned 12 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, as well as writing and directing nominations for Nagy. She is currently working on two new film adaptations — The Trap, a novel by Melanie Raabe, for TriStar; and The Luneburg Variation, a novel by Paolo Maurensig, for Colin Firth’s production company. Nagy is also writing an original screenplay, Middle Of Somewhere, about a week in the life of Dusty Springfield for Number 9 Films and Studio Canal.
The film and TV rights to Kushner’s novel were repped by the RWSG Agency on behalf of Susan Golomb at Writers House. Nagy is repped by UTA in the U.S. and by the Casarotto Agency in the UK.
Other projects in the Anonymous/Paramount deal include a drama series based on Caleb Carr’s The Alienist with Cary Fukunaga, Eric Torth and Hossein Amini; Thirteen Reasons Why, exec produced by Selena Gomez and Brian Yorkey and based on Jay Asher’s bestselling YA book; Legbreakers, an English-language version of the hit Swedish drama series Torpederna; and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory, adapted and executive produced by Nurse Jackie co-creator, Evan Dunsky, based on Caitlin Doughty’s bestselling memoir.