Though Boardwalk Empire is coming to an end this year, it appears that Martin Scorsese will definitely be staying in business with HBO. He recently shot a pilot for a potential HBO series set in the 1970s rock and roll music scene of New York City, and now HBO is developing a TV adaptation of his film Shutter Island with Scorsese’s involvement. Titled Ashecliffe, the Shutter Island TV series will be written by novelist/screenwriter Dennis Lehane, and the plan is for Scorsese to also direct the pilot. Lehane penned the source material for Scorsese’s twisty 2010 psychological thriller, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. DiCaprio will also be involved in the Shutter Island TV series as an executive producer. More after the jump.
Per Deadline, Paramount Television and HBO are making deals to turn Shutter Island into a TV show. The series is tentatively titled Ashecliffe, which is the name of the mental hospital that DiCaprio’s character investigates in the 1950s-set Shutter Island. The focus of the series will be on the past and history of Ashecliffe, beginning before the events of the film and revolving around “the secrets and misdeeds perpetrated by its founders who erected the hospital in the early 20th century and developed the methods of treatment used for the mentally ill.” Scorsese is onboard as an executive producer, with DiCaprio also executive producing through his Appian Way banner.
As a big fan of what Scorsese did with Shutter Island, I find the idea for this Shutter Island TV series highly exciting. American Horror Story tried to tackle an insane asylum in TV format in its second season, but the scattershot and shock-value nature of the show led to a rather mixed result. With Ashecliffe, though, one imagines HBO and Scorsese can craft an exciting series that delves deep into the horrors of mental illness and care at the turn of the century. The dark nature of the show is in line with HBO’s smash hit True Detective, and it might even make a solid companion to Steven Soderbergh’s surgery-focused The Knick on Cinemax.
Lehane will pen the pilot script for Ashecliffe with Tom Bernardo, and the plan is for Scorsese to direct the pilot, schedule pending. He’s poised to start production on his next film Silence in early 2015 in Taiwan, so I’m not sure where Ashecliffe might fit into that timeline but I do hope it works out.
What do you think of this news, folks? Would you watch a Shutter Island TV series? Sound off in the comments below.