Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' The 10 Best Films Of 2004 The 10 Best Films Of 2004 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2003 First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Stephen Daldry Hopes To Make Long-Gestating 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' As 8-Hour HBO Series

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 12, 2011 at 10:21AM

This year marks a full decade since Michael Chabon's masterpiece "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel telling the story of America in the 1930s and 1940s through the eyes of two Jewish comic book creators, was published. And as tends to happen with a cultural phenomenon like that book, movie rights were snapped up even before publication, with Scott Rudin (who produced the adaptation of Chabon's "Wonder Boys" around the same time) acquiring the project, and setting the late Sydney Pollack to direct, with Jude Law circling the role of escape-artist-turned-comic-artist Joe Kavalier. 
1
Daldry Kavalier & Clay

This year marks a full decade since Michael Chabon's masterpiece "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel telling the story of America in the 1930s and 1940s through the eyes of two Jewish comic book creators, was published. And as tends to happen with a cultural phenomenon like that book, movie rights were snapped up even before publication, with Scott Rudin (who produced the adaptation of Chabon's "Wonder Boys" around the same time) acquiring the project, and setting the late Sydney Pollack to direct, with Jude Law circling the role of escape-artist-turned-comic-artist Joe Kavalier. 

That version never came to pass, and Pollack departed the project, with Stephen Daldry, hot off his Oscar-nominated sophomore film "The Hours," replacing him in the director's chair. And he's loosely remained there ever since, coming close to making the film twice: once in 2004, with Tobey Maguire, Jamie Bell and Natalie Portman in the lead roles, and again in 2006, where Ryan Gosling, Andrew Garfield, Ben Whishaw and Jason Schwartzmann were all thought of for the titular Kavalier & Clay. Both times, however, Paramount got trigger-shy, and didn't greenlight the potentially expensive project.

Daldry has just come off his third Rudin-produced, Oscar bait, literary adaptation, namely the imminent "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," and Collider spoke to the director during the film's press junket, where he revealed that he's still keen to make the project, but is considering moving it into a different medium, telling the site, "I would love to do something for TV... I wanna do 'Kavalier & Clay' on HBO as an eight-parter."

The book's 600-page length and digressive nature has clearly been one of the stumbling blocks for an adaptation (even Chabon's own adaptation for Pollack, which we've read, guts the source material, jettisoning the crucial third act entirely), and Daldry thinks it could work better with the greater length available on HBO saying, "It'll be so much better as as series, honestly. If you could put that in the article and ring up HBO and tell them that's what I wanna do, I'd really appreciate it."

Of course, right now, this doesn't seem like it's that close to reality. Daldry does say that, "I spent a year working on it with Michael Chabon, so we're pretty close," but it's a little ambiguous as to whether he means working on a film script , or on a potential eight-part TV take, and he also admits that the studio may not be willing to give up the rights -- "Will Paramount give [the rights] to me? I don't know."

There are other considerations to be taken into account as well; Chabon is currently working on another HBO series, alongside wife Ayelet Waldman and Darren Aronofsky, named "Hobgoblin," which shares certain themes (namely magicians and WW2) with 'Kavalier & Clay,' and seeing as that has more potential for being a long-running show than the novel adaptation, that may take precedence.

We also have to say: eight parts? The book could certainly benefit from a three-hour plus running time, but unless Daldry and Chabon are planning to expand the thing beyond the parameters of the book, eight hours seems very, very generous.

Still, if anyone could step up, it'll be HBO, who are getting underway on another epic novel from the same time, "The Corrections" at the moment. Of course, whether Daldry is the right choice to helm is something of a moot point -- we'll have a better idea when "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" hits theaters on Christmas Day.

This article is related to: Stephen Daldry, Michael Chabon, Scott Rudin, The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates