It has been a while since we’ve generated a Development Slate piece for the site. Here is a look at a few concepts in consideration at HBO.
THE SHARDS –
Prolific American author and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis has one of his works being adapted for HBO. THE SHARDS, which also was read by Ellis via a series of podcasts, was published in January of 2023 and has already been set for filming. Director Luca Guadagnino, of HBO’s WE ARE WHO WE ARE, is said to be taking the lead behind the camera will Easton Ellis writing the work and producing it alongside Nick Hall and Brian Young.
The story follows seventeen-year-old Bret – a nihilistic, 17-year-old, bisexual San Fernando Valley trust-fund senior at the exclusive Buckley prep school. It’s there a new student arrives with a mysterious past. Robert Mallory is bright, handsome, charismatic, and shielding a secret from Bret and his friends even as he becomes a part of their tightly knit circle. It is said that this mysterious past and how it affects Bret will take three seasons to tell.
Can Bret trust his friends to make sense of the danger they may be in? Thwarted by the world and by his own innate desires, buffeted by unhealthy fixations, he spirals into paranoia and isolation as the relationship between a potentially dangerous Mallory and himself seems inevitable. Don’t spoil it if you’ve read it! We will have to wait to find out if this potential series makes the cut.
EMPTY MANSIONS –
“Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune” is a non-fiction read by the American authors Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr., about the heiress Huguette Clark (1906–2011), daughter of the copper baron and United States Senator William A. Clark one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time. The book chronicles the Clark family’s involvement across much of American history including her father’s development of Las Vegas.
This work is set to be the source material for a new HBO series under the direction of Joseph Wright (2005’s Pride & Prejudice). It will fictionalize the story of Hughette Clark who has been described as the “last jewel of the Gilded Age.” And HBO is quite knowledgeable with THE GILDED AGE so this story would fit in quite nicely.
THE NIGERWIFE –
Amy Aniobi (INSECURE, 2 DOPE QUEENS) and her production company SuperSpecial, have acquired the rights to the novel “The Nigerwife” by author Vanessa Walters to develop into a drama series under her overall deal at HBO.
It tells the story of Nicole Oruwari, who has the perfect life: a handsome husband, a palatial house in the heart of glittering Lagos, Nigeria, and a glamorous, highly exclusive group of friends. A UK ex-pat with two young children, Nicole left everything behind to become a “Nigerwife” – the foreign bride of a Nigerian man – trading gloomy London, along with her overreaching family, for sunny, moneyed Lagos. But when Nicole disappears without a trace from a boat in the affluent Ikoyi harbor, the cracks in her so-called perfect life start to show. When Nicole projects an image of effortless wealth and happiness, a very different picture soon begins to emerge – one of depression, isolation, and even violence. Who was the real Nicole? And where did she go?
Ah, a mystery in Africa. HBO hasn’t seen that kind of work since 2009’s THE NO 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY. A series located in Africa is long overdue.
MY DENTIST’S MURDER TRIAL –
HBO is developing this concept as a limited series with some big names attached. It will star and be executive produced by David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, THE LAST OF US). You would think that HBO’s priority would be to get the highly anticipated Cordyceps crisis story moving forward with season two before this work gets underway so, it might take time for this to come to fruition.
Written by Steve Conrad (Patriot), who is set to direct the pilot episode, this work is inspired by James Lasdun’s 2017 New Yorker article “My Dentist’s Murder Trial: Adultery, false identities, and a lethal sedation.” It centers on Dr. Gilberto Nunez who in 2015 was indicted for killing his friend Thomas Kolman by getting him “to ingest a substance that caused his death.” There were also two forgery counts, including Nunez posing as a C.I.A. agent. What is up with this guy is something we will have to wait on. Stay tuned.
THE PERFECT NANNY –
Nicole Kidman wants to do another stint on HBO. This time she focuses on THE PERFECT NANNY. Kidman and Pen15 co-creator and co-lead Maya Erskine are set to star in the project. In this work, a seemingly perfect nanny goes to work for a couple with two young children, but her helpful personality eventually deteriorates into something sinister.
The limited series is based on the book of the same name by Leïla Slimani and was first published in France. it became an international bestseller and Kidman/Erskine’s respective production companies won the rights and got it under development with HBO. The novel has been praised for its exploration of race and class divisions against the background of every parent’s worst fears. Just want sinister scheme plays out will be revealed soon enough as we look for Nicole Kidman’s return to HBO with this one.
LITTLE FILMS –
The latest from Julio Torres (LOS ESPOOKYS) was stated long before the Hollywood strikes arose and nothing has been stated since, but we need to go on record to announce LITTLE FILMS as the project in development. It is as odd as his last gig. This little comedic quirk (the series not the artist) tells the tale of when he lost a little golden oyster. The people he encounters as he searches for it, and the musings he has along the way, become points of departure for introspective, often eerie comedic stories about outsiders navigating an increasingly corporate and rapidly dysfunctional New York City. You can’t say that HBO doesn’t look for all kinds of storytelling.
Titles previously mentioned are still in development as all Hollywood matters came to a five-month halt. The SAG-AFRA strike is still crippling the industry, affecting such titles as PARASITE, SCANNERS and a number of GoT titles including THE HEDGE KNIGHT. We will keep you up to date with those projects and more as the industry gets closer to functioning fully.