June 9, 2014

Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam coming to HBO

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Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam books are being adapted by Darren Aronofsky for HBO. © Lesekreis / Via Wikimedia Commons

Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam books are being adapted by Darren Aronofsky for HBO.
© Lesekreis / Via Wikimedia Commons

HBO is developing a television adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, Nellie Andreeva reported in an exclusive for Deadline last week.

Darren Aronofsky—director of Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan—has signed on to executive produce the miniseries, through his production company Protozoa Pictures. This marks something of an apocalyptic pattern for Aronofsky, who also directed the biblical epic Noah earlier this year; Atwood’s books take place around the Waterless Flood, a mass extinction brought on by man-made disease.

The first two novels in the trilogy—Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood—each follow different characters before they connect with each other in the final chapter, MaddAddam. It’s still very early in the process (Aronofsky’s team is still only meeting with writers to adapt the books), so it’s as yet unclear whether the miniseries will follow that structure, with the early episodes devoted to one side of the plot the other, or integrate both of them into one story.

HBO and Aronofsky seem well suited to bringing Atwood’s speculative fiction to life. As Tara Ariano puts it in an effusive post on Previously.tv:

“But Tara, that all sounds apocalyptic! Aren’t you fucking terrified of the apocalypse?” YES. That’s how much of a dealmaker Atwood is for me: I will even read books that basically lay out the terrifyingly awful position the human race is going to be in about fifty years, if she wrote them. (And just white-knuckle it through them, hoping I’ll be long dead by then.)

Anyway: Atwood is an actual genius; this material is made to be explored in a sprawling, expensive miniseries format; and I literally couldn’t be happier.

Aronofsky is co-producing the project with his fiancée Brandi-Ann Milbradt and Protozoa Pictures president Ari Handel, who’s collaborated with Aronofsky as a producer and writer on several of his movies, including Noah and Black Swan. Atwood is signed on to serve as a consulting producer.

Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.

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