EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, streamer HBO Max has given an 8-episode straight-to-series order to Circe, a drama series adaptation of Madeline Miller’s International bestseller of the same name. The Greek mythology-themed project hails from top feature writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World). Chernin Entertainment is producing with Endeavor Content through the companies’ scripted drama venture.
Written and executive produced by Jaffa and Silver, Circe is a modern take on the world of Greek mythology told from the powerful feminist perspective of the goddess Circe, who transforms from an awkward nymph to a formidable witch, able to challenge gods, titans and monsters alike.
“Circe tells an epic story of love, loss, tragedy and immortal conflict, all through the eyes of a fierce female lens,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Rick and Amanda’s work and their ability to simultaneously build epic imaginative worlds while creating emotional dynamic characters. In partnership with Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping, we have the dream team to bring Circe to life.”
For Jaffa and Silver, this marks a foray into television and an extension of their relationship with Chernin Entertainment on the feature side where they have collaborated on the Planet of the Apes franchise.
Jaffa and Silver co-wrote and produced the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.
In addition to Planet of the Apes, the duo recently also successfully rebooted another blockbuster movie franchise, co-writing the 2015 Jurassic World. Upcoming tentpoles co-written by Jaffa and Silver include Disney’s live-action Mulan and the first two Avatar sequels. Silver and Jaffa are repped by Ken Richman at Hansen Jacobson.
Published in 2018, Miller’s Circe was a breakout success, launching to strong reviews and landing at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list (for a 16-week stay), and selling over half a million books in the U.S. alone. The book was shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction and was the Winner of the 2019 Indie Choice Award. It has been translated in 22 languages. Miller is repped by Julie Barer at The Book Group and WME.
Chernin Entertainment’s series portfolio also include upcoming drama series P-Valley on Starz as well See and Truth Be Told at Apple, both in partnership with Endeavor Content.
Circe gives HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer service set to debut in spring 2020, a potential fantasy franchise. It joins sci-fi saga Dune: The Sisterhood. Other series ordered by the upcoming streaming platform include a Gossip Girl reboot, Made For Love, Station Eleven, a Gremlins animated prequel, The Flight Attendant, Love Life, and Tokyo Vice.