Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, and Jack Black Developing HBO Miniseries MADAME X

     March 6, 2015


True Blood stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are coming back to HBO, albeit in a very different form. The Wrap reports that the duo are set to executive produce a miniseries called Madame X alongside Jack Black, of all people. The mini is an adaptation of Kate Manning’s book My Notorious Life, which is based on a true story from 1860 New York City. The story revolves around an impoverished young daughter of Irish immigrants who becomes a successful midwife and abortionist. This being the 1800s and all, she becomes a rather controversial figure.

Paquin will star in Madame X as the central character, Axie Muldoon, and Lynn Shelton (Laggies, Your Sister’s Sister) is attached to direct from a screenplay by Julia Hart (The Keeping Room). Black is no stranger to HBO either, as he stars in Jay Roach’s upcoming political comedy The Brink.

Though it treads similar territory as Cinemax’s The Knick, this sounds like a fascinating story and one that will no doubt make a swell addition to HBO’s library. All the pieces are in place but it doesn’t sound like the project is written yet, so it may be some time before we see this come to fruition.

my-notorious-life-book-coverRead a synopsis of Manning’s book below:

Inspired by a real midwife who became one of the most controversial figures in Victorian New York City, this “daring page-turner” (O, The Oprah Magazine) is an unforgettable tale—a love story, a family saga, and the confessions of a charismatic and passionate woman who changed the lives of countless others.


Meet the incomparable Axie Muldoon. Axie’s story begins on the streets of 1860s New York. The impoverished child of Irish immigrants, she grows up to become one of the wealthiest and most controversial women of her day. In vivid prose, Axie recounts how she is forcibly separated from her mother and siblings, apprenticed to a doctor, and how she and her husband parlay the sale of a few bottles of “Lunar Tablets for Female Complaint” into a thriving midwifery business. Flouting convention and defying the law in the name of women’s rights, Axie rises from grim tenement rooms to the splendor of a mansion on Fifth Avenue, amassing wealth while learning over and over never to trust a man who says “trust me.”


When her services attract outraged headlines, Axie finds herself on a collision course with a crusading official—Anthony Comstock, founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. It will take all of Axie’s power to outwit him in the fight to preserve her freedom and everything she holds dear. Inspired by the true history of an infamous physician who was once called “the Wickedest Woman in New York,” Kate Manning is “writing in the venerable tradition of Stephen Crane…those social reformers knew that a powerful tale with memorable characters could draw us into the heat of social debates like nothing else” (The Washington Post). []