Hulu has given a straight-to-series order to Normal People, a drama adapted from Sally Rooney’s recent best-seller. The 12-episode half-hour series hails from Element Pictures in association with BBC Three.
Normal People follows the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne and Connell (Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal) from the end of their school days in small town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College. At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. But when Connell comes to pick up his mother from her cleaning job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world, but Connell hangs at the side lines, shy and uncertain.
“From the moment we read Normal People, we were smitten,” said Beatrice Springborn Hulu’s VP Content Development. “This anatomy of a will-they-or-won’t-they romance perfectly and uniquely captures the highs and lows of young true love.”
Rooney, who adapted her book alongside writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, will serve as executive producer with Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Emma Norton and Anna Ferguson for Element Pictures. Lenny Abrahamson will direct the first six episodes, with Hettie McDonald helming the final six. Abrahamson also will serve as EP. Catherine Magee is the series producer.
“As a longtime admirer of Lenny Abrahamson’s work, it’s a special privilege for me to be working alongside him on the adaptation of Normal People,” Rooney said. “I couldn’t be happier with the cast and team we’ve put together, and I’m very excited to watch them bringing new life to the story on screen.”
Normal People started production this week in Dublin for a 2020 premiere. The novel won was named 2019 Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and was published last month in the U.S. last month.
“All of us at Element Pictures feel so privileged to be part of bringing Sally’s extraordinary, era-defining novel to television audiences worldwide under the guidance of the brilliant Lenny Abrahamson,” Guiney said.
Endeavor Content negotiated the deal with Hulu on behalf of the producers and is handling international sales.