Hulu is adapting Alexis Schaitkin’s novel Saint X, giving an eight-part series order to the project from writer Leila Gerstein and director Dee Rees.
The psychological drama, which is told via multiple timelines and perspectives, explores and upends the girl-gone-missing genre. It’s a show about how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth.
Produced by ABC Signature, Gerstein, the Hart of Dixie creator who was a consulting producer on The Handmaid’s Tale, will write and exec produce, while Mudbound director Rees, who has also written and directed on series such as Empire and Masters of the Air, will direct and exec produce.
Watchmen exec producer Stephen Williams will also executive produce with Anonymous Content and DreamCrew Entertainment as well as Schaitkin.
The book was published in 2020 and was called “hypnotic” by the New York Times Book Review. It follows Claire, who is only 7 years old when her college-age sister disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men — employees at the resort — are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.
Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth — not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At 7, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of 18 at a turbulent moment of identity formation.
As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.
It is Hulu’s latest book adaptation following the likes of The Handmaid’s Tale, Shrill, Little Fires Everywhere, Normal People and Nine Perfect Strangers as well as the upcoming series Conversations with Friends.
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