Justified executive producers Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman are returning to the works of Elmore Leonard, optioning three of the late author’s praised Detroit novels as the basis for a new TV series targeted for cable and streaming networks.
Via their Timberman-Beverly production company, which is based at CBS TV Studios, the duo has optioned Unknown Man #89, Pagan Babies and Mr. Paradise and is actively exploring other Detroit novels by Leonard as well.
Written by Tod “Kip” Williams (Door in the Floor), the series adaptation is envisioned as focusing on one novel each season, with characters occasionally appearing in multiple seasons as they often did in Leonard’s novels. Additionally, novels may spawn related, but narratively original seasons, based on featured or tangential characters and storylines in the original books.
Timberman and Beverly will executive produce with Elmore Leonard’s son, author Peter Leonard (Quiver, Unknown Remains), and their frequent collaborator Kerry Schmidt. Producers are out to directors with the goal of bringing the project to market later this year.
Leonard, often called the “Dickens of Detroit” wrote 12 crime novels set in the once-heralded city. Once America’s third largest city, and by many measures its wealthiest, Detroit declared bankruptcy in 2013 and has seen the mass exodus of its once proud population.
In addition to Justified, based on Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole,” which ran on FX for six seasons, Timberman-Beverly’s series credits include Elementary, Masters of Sex, and new CBS fall drama Seal Team.
Williams, who has written multiple Leonard adaptations in addition to adaptations of John Irving and Stephen King, is repped by ICM Partners. Timberman-Beverly Prods. and Schmidt are repped by CAA. Peter Leonard is repped by Amy Schiffman at Intellectual Property Group. Elmore Leonard’s estate is repped by UTA.