“We’re doing Kavalier & Clay, all of us, so, that’s exciting.” With this admission, writer/producer extraordinaire Akiva Goldsman (Star Trek: Picard, Fringe) surprised our very own Steve Weintraub, about to wrap up his interview with the man. Of course, when you bring up the forthcoming Showtime adaptation of Michael Chabon‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, you simply must delve deeper. And delve is what our own Steve Weintraub did.
If you’ve not heard of the novel, it’s a work of brilliance about Jewish artists and writers who become key figures in the Golden Age of Comic Books during oppression faced in and after World War II. It’s an expansive piece of work that folks have been trying to adapt for the screen for quite some time. But Goldsman seems confident this time’s the charm, as he’s gone to the original source to adapt it:
Michael and his wife Ayelet Waldman, together, they’re writing the whole thing, and it is not a movie. The two of them and Alex Kurtzman and I, who are producing it with them, have sat around and got to do that thing that you wanna do with one of your favorite novels with the author in the room, which is go, ‘What if you did — and how do you –‘ And it’s super fun.
Goldsman’s description puts into stark terms how hands-on the original creative team of the novel are on the Showtime version — so much so, that when asked whether it will be an ongoing series, limited season, or something in the middle, Goldsman replied: “I do know how long it is, and again I’m not gonna tell you, only because I feel like it’s not actually mine to share. It’s theirs to share. But I think that they are going to give it the breadth it deserves.”
The show certainly seems to be in full script-writing swing, as part of a development deal between Chabon, Waldman, and CBS Television Studios. But has the thing actually been greenlit? Goldsman gave it to us straight:
I have no idea how greenlights work in television. I know that Michael and Ayelet are writing… Depending on different deal structures, two scripts can trigger it, ten scripts can trigger, no scripts can trigger, an actor can trigger, so I don’t know what the construct of that is, simply because right now they’re writing and that comes first.
We’ll be waiting with bated breath. In the meantime, be sure to look out for the rest of the informative pieces from Steve’s interview with Goldsman throughout the coming week, and check out the full Kavalier & Clay interview clip below.
For more on The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay novel which is set in 1939 New York City, here’s the Amazon synopsis:
A young escape artist and budding magician named Joe Kavalier arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy Clay. While the long shadow of Hitler falls across Europe, America is happily in thrall to the Golden Age of comic books, and in a distant corner of Brooklyn, Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze. He finds the ideal partner in the aloof, artistically gifted Joe, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them deep into the heart of Manhattan, and the heart of old-fashioned American ambition. From the shared fears, dreams, and desires of two teenage boys, they spin comic book tales of the heroic, fascist-fighting Escapist and the beautiful, mysterious Luna Moth, otherworldly mistress of the night. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out lives, and careers, as vivid as cyan and magenta ink.