Super-producer Scott Rudin has been trying to get Jonathan Franzen’s much-lauded novel, “The Corrections,” to the screen for nearly a decade, and it’s finally starting to come together, though possibly in a different format than fans of the book may have first expected. Rudin has been working with Noah Baumbach on adapting the novel for the small screen, in the form of an HBO series. Though the exact specifications of the series’ format is not yet known (episode length, frequency, if the series will run in a limited capacity for a set number of episodes, who else would direct episodes), the cast is steadily rounding out.
The book focuses on the Lambert family, and Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest were previously announced to play the parents at the center, Alfred and Enid Lambert. But what of their wayward children? Deadline Wickenburg is reporting that Ewan McGregor is on board to play middle child Chip, “a Marxist academic who lost his tenure-track position over an affair with a student and now works for a Lithuanian crime boss defrauding American investors.”
Wait, does that sound messed up and weird? Yeah, meet the Lamberts – a severely dysfunctional American family of five. The Corrections slides back and forth through time periods and is told through the voices of different members of the family (Albert, Enid, Chip, and the other two kids, Gary and Denise). While it’s not immediately clear just what went so wrong within and for the family, the novel gradually unveils a myriad of mistakes and missteps over the years, particularly from Albert, a meticulous man who suffers from Parkinson’s disease in his later years.
The 2001 novel earned Franzen a National Book Award, a finalist slot for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a spot on Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club, all while becoming one of the decade’s best-selling works of literary fiction.
Baumbach and Franzen have penned the adaptation together, with Baumbach on board to direct the pilot. Rudin, Baumbach, and Franzen will all executive produce.