There has been a lot of buzz lately about upcoming HBO projects. We still have a post detailing more of them forthcoming, but for now, we want to focus on a project we haven’t heard much about around here. It is HBO’s MADDADDAM project. It is a adaptation of a trilogy of books, as we previously reported, by Margaret Atwood.
We have been able to find some interview pieces with her as she talks about her post-apocalyptic trilogy and HBO’s take on it. Of course, she will not be able to reveal too much, but only speculate, because this outline and screenplay are in the early stages.
The first bit of information comes from Vulture and talks about how Atwood has noted the notoriety Sci-Fi & Fantasy receives nowadays. Back in her youth it was a fringe culture and certainly not large in the literary circles. Now there is Comic-Con and cosplay, etc. But, then she gets questions about the HBO project.
Vulture:You’re a consulting producer?
Margaret Atwood (pictured): Yes. We’ve already met and had quite extensive conversations about structure.
V:How do you see the series working in terms of storytelling, since so much of the plot of the books is told via flashbacks and memories?
MA:That remains to be seen, for both of us!
V:Would you like to write an episode?
MA: Oh, no. I’m too old. [Laughs] I think for a series, you really need a team. I’ll wait until I’m invited. [Laughs] Anyway, they’re very smart, this whole group of people; very clever, and thoughtful. And I think they will do it justice. I think it’s appropriate that it’s a series, rather than trying to put it all in one movie, which would be very hard. I think my role as a consultant is to stay alive until they finish it, so I can actually see it! That’s good. I think that’s a goal to have. [Laughs]
Now the whole concept has some graphic content involved as well as some serious scientific and political content. It does not sound like an easy story to tackle. There are bio-engineered animals, hybrid humans and powerful corporations in a struggle for dominance. To help get the total feel for the works themselves and the heady and controversial concepts involved check out this fan-generated video accompanied by descriptions straight from Random House.
One interesting element alone is the hybrid humans called Crakers who are naked throughout. Atwood said at the Cheltenham Literature Festival that –
MA: “The question that is at the front of everybody’s mind – but that they’re sometimes afraid to ask – is ‘how are you going to do the naked people who turn blue?’ Do you use a bit of shrubbery? So, I was actually talking to the team recently and I said, what are you going to do about that? “And they said, we are HBO, we’re going to do it straight. No shrubbery.”
Here is how Vulture broached the topic.
V: People might come to Comic-Con dressed as characters from MaddAddam — or possibly undressed, if they attend as Crakers.
MA: That is a question that has occurred to me as well! It would require quite a bit of chutzpah to do that! Are they going to use shrubs? Nude behind the shrub, and just let the top half stick out? Are they going to go Adam with the fig leaf? How daring will they be?
V: When they first announced the show, I immediately thought, how are they going to adapt the wagging blue penises?
MA:How indeed?! [Laughs] Yes, my very thought. Well, we’ll have to wait and see. I’ve not got any inside information on that.
V: At least they’re pretty comfortable with nudity on HBO.
MA: But blue nudity? We do not know! We don’t know! How much nudity? We just don’t know. [Laughs] And the wagging part, how will they … Well, that will be easy to simulate; perhaps with little motors? We’ll see how far they’re willing to go, and how much people are willing to put up with it! [Laughs]
This is all a heady, complicated and fascinating topic and HBO project that hopefully will make it on air at some point in the future. There will be plenty to explore between now and then. We leave you with Atwood’s comments regarding Darren Aronofsky spearheading the project. As told to those at the Literature Festival –
MA: We always knew that it would take somebody with a particular sense of style, so that was a big consideration. My agent and I had had other approaches [but ] you don’t want to give it to somebody that you don’t think can do it. I didn’t want to give it to somebody who thought they could make a film… because the canvas is too big for a film.”
HBOWatch will keep you posted.