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Margaret Atwood Talks Adapting 'MaddAddam' Trilogy with Aronofsky and HBO

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood August 20, 2014 at 4:08PM

Darren Aronofsky's got another flood on his hands after this year's "Noah": he's executive producing an HBO adaptation of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy, set in the middle of the 21st century after a so-called Waterless Flood that nearly wipes all of humanity off the planet.
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Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood

Darren Aronofsky's got another flood on his hands after this year's "Noah": he's executive producing an HBO adaptation of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy, set in the middle of the 21st century after a so-called Waterless Flood that nearly wipes all of humanity off the planet.

In the Canadian author's trilogy--"Oryx and Crake," "The Year of the Flood" and "MaddAddam"--corporations have replaced governments and genetic modification is all the rage.

As Vulture reported today in a conversation with the author, Atwood will be a consulting producer on the project, and has been a part of the extensive planning process to determine the show's structure. But she has no plans to write an episode: "I'm too old," she told the website.  "I think my role as a consultant is to stay alive until they finish it, so I can actually see it!"

When asked by Vulture's Jennifer Vineyard about her series' "wagging blue penises," Atwood said that she doesn't have any inside information on that, although the cable channel is of course well-known for its friendly attitude towards nudity.  In her interview, Vineyard throws out a few sample castings--Aaron Paul, Paul Dano, Anna Kendrick--to which Atwood amusedly replies, "This isn't my generation."

Atwood has a new short story collection titled "Stone Mattress" out this September, and Random House recently released the paperback of "MaddAddam."  It's unclear at this point if Aronofsky will direct the HBO adaptation, although it certainly seems like something he would be interested in.  

"MaddAddam" is the first project to come to fruition after Aronofsky signed a three-year first-look deal with HBO this January--his first foray into TV.  Aronofsky also signed a feature deal this year with New Regency, which partnered with Paramount Pictures to make "Noah."

This article is related to: Darren Aronofsky, HBO, Noah, Paramount


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.