HBO eyes ‘Charlotte Simmons’ series

Brown, Haber to produce Wolfe adaptation

HBO is eyeing the Tom Wolfe novel “I Am Charlotte Simmons” as a series, with Tina Brown and Ostar Prods.’ Bill Haber set to produce.

Pay cabler has optioned the 2004 bestseller and is in the early stages of developing the project as an hourlong series. It’s the first project for Brown, author and former editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Talk magazine, under the development deal she struck earlier this year with HBO.

Brown and Haber are now looking for a writer to pen the “Charlotte” pilot.

“I have always wanted to see ‘Charlotte’ brought to the screen in all her innocent vitality,” Brown said.

Wolfe’s 2004 novel was an exploration of sex and class on a fictional Ivy League campus. The title character is a brilliant freshman from a poor family in the rural South who earns a full scholarship to Dupont U., where she experiences a social and sexual awakening.

“Charlotte” was previously optioned for a feature film adaptation in 2005 by Trilogy Entertainment Group. As recently as April, pic was set up at Essential Entertainment with helmer Liz Friedlander set to direct from a script by Trilogy partner John Watson (Daily Variety, April 29).

Two of Wolfe’s most popular books, “The Right Stuff” and “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” have been adapted into films. A pic rendition of Wolfe’s 1968 book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” — his epic reportage on writer Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and the nation’s psychedelic awakening — is being developed by helmer Gus Van Sant and producer Richard Gladstein.

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