EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Television has closed a deal to develop the Jonathan Lethem novel Gun, With Occasional Music for a TV series. Johan Renck, coming off his Emmy-winning work on the acclaimed HBO miniseries Chernobyl, has been set to direct. He will be executive producer along with David Flebotte, who’ll be the showrunner. Flebotte co-created the Showtime series I’m Dying Up Here with Jim Carrey, and his credits include Masters of Sex, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire.
The series will be produced by Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman, Michael Costigan and Daniel Pipski, along with Francey Grace. Aggregate’s productions include Ozark, the upcoming FX drama A Teacher and HBO’s The Outsider, which premieres Sunday.
The novel is a blend of sci-fi, noir and satire, set in the near future in a trippy world. Evolved animals are part of society, the government placates its citizens with free mind-numbing drugs, and the police monitor people by their karma levels. The protagonist is Conrad Metcalf, a down-and-out PI on a loser of a case. His last client — a prominent doctor — just turned up dead, and in order to clear his name and stay out of the deep freeze, the PI works for free to get to the bottom of it all. Turns out there is no bottom to this one, though, and Metcalf soon finds there’s nothing simple about this murder. Matt King and Robert Atwood will oversee for Legendary Television.
Lethem’s books also include Motherless Brooklyn, which was adapted and directed into a feature by Edward Norton.
Renck’s upward trajectory began with directing music videos, including the final two by the late David Bowie, “Blackstar“ and “Lazarus.” Renck made his film directing debut on the 2008 Sundance film Downloading Nancy. He followed with the Swedish limited series The Fat and the Angry before directing the pilots for Vikings, Bloodline and Shut Eye and episodes of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Halt and Catch Fire and Bates Motel. That led to Chernobyl, which won 10 Emmys including Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series. The mini also won two Golden Globes on Sunday, including Best Limited Series.
Renck is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content, Casarotto Ramsay and attorney Warren Dern; Flebotte is CAA and attorney Philip Klein; Lethem is repped by WME’s Sylvie Rabineau and Aggregate Films is repped by CAA.
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