HBO is re-teaming with key auspices behind its breakout Big Little Lies, including star Nicole Kidman and writer David E. Kelley. for a new limited series based on a bestselling book. The network has ordered The Undoing, an adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s book You Should Have Known, with Kidman attached to star.
Adapted by Kelley, The Undoing centers on Grace Sachs (Kidman), who is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist on the brink of publishing her first book, has a devoted husband and young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. Weeks before her book is published, a chasm opens in her life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.
“We’re thrilled to continue our creative relationships with both Nicole and David,” said Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming “and can’t wait to bring this show to life.”
Like with BLL, Kelley executive produces The Undoing through David E. Kelley Productions and will serve as showrunner. Kidman again executive produces with Per Saari through their Blossom Films alongside another BLL executive producer, Bruna Papandrea, vie Made Up Stories. A search for a director is underway. The number of episodes is TBD, it will likely be be in the same range as BLL, whose first season consisted of 7 episodes.
“David has created another propulsive series with a fascinating, complicated female role at its center,” said Kidman. “I’m excited and honored to continue collaborating with HBO and David E Kelley.”
Kidman and Saari executive produced the Emmy-winning limited series Big Little Lies for HBO. Blossom’s titles currently in development include an adaptation of the literary sleeper hit The Silent Wife, an adaptation of best-seller Reconstructing Amelia, an adaptation of Janice Lee’s best-seller The Expatriates, and an adaptation of off-Broadway vampire hit Cuddles. With their Big Little Lies co-producers Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, Blossom Films is also adapting Liane Moriarty’s new novel Truly Madly Guilty into a limited series.
You Should Have Known was published in 2014 by Grand Central Publishing.
“I loved this book,” said Kelley, “A character driven psychological thriller, I’m excited about the adaptation and thrilled to be able to do it with Nicole and HBO.”
Papandrea’s Made Up Stories produced in its first-year Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, Abe Forsythe’s Little Monsters (starring Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad) and the TNT pilot Deadlier Than The Male written by Harriet Warner and directed by Caméra d’Or winner Houda Benyamina.
Both stars and executive producers of Big Little Lies, Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, have high-profile limited series based on bestselling books lined up as a followup to BLL. Witherspoon teamed with Kerry Washington to topline and executive produce Little Fires Everywhere, which just landed at Hulu with an eight-episode straight-to-series order. Additionally, Kidman and Witherspoon are reuniting for the upcoming second season of BLL at HBO, also penned by Kelley, as well as Truly Madly Deeply, which they are developing together.
BLL won eight Emmys last September, including limited series and actress in a TV movie/limited series for Kidman.
Kelley is repped by CAA and attorney Michael Gendler. For Blossom Films, the deal was brokered by CAA and attorney Alan Werthheimer. The deal for Made Up Stories was negotiated by WME.