Rita Wilson Developing the Novel MIDDLESEX for HBO

     July 7, 2009

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HBO has optioned the Pulitzer Prize winning book “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides.  According to Broadcasting and Cable the 2002 novel is being developed as a potential one-hour drama series with Rita Wilson set to produce.  More after the jump…

“Middlesex” is the story of Calliope Stephanides, an intersexed youth growing up in modern-day Detroit.  That alone would be interesting, but the book also weaves an intricate family history that traces Callie/Cal’s Greek heritage through his/her contemporary family situation: including extortion plots, crooked priests, car chases and multiple betrayals.  It’s basically a really well-written version of “One Life to Live” with an extra helping of gender neutrality thrown in.

Like the good folks who awarded Eugenides the Pulitzer back in 2003, I loved the book “Middlesex”.  I would be very nervous about the material ending up neutered for television if we were talking about any channel other than HBO.  The pay-cable provider is probably the only network that still takes genuine risks with material (who else would have done all seven hours of a “John Adams” miniseries?) and where the tastes of teenaged boys are not slavishly catered to.  I look forward to seeing what Rita Wilson comes up with…

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