HBO looks to Michigan for ‘Middlesex’

Cabler options Detroit-set novel for drama series

The long list of projects filming in Michigan may be about to grow by one.

HBO has optioned Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Middlesex,” set in Detroit, for a one-hour drama series from a script by Donald Margulies.

Exec producer Rita Wilson, HBO and the Michigan Film Office decline to comment on the project since it’s in the early stages of development.

“Middlesex” is about genetics, gender identity and family politics. The story begins in early 1960s Detroit when the male Cal Stephanides is born and raised — due to misidentification by the doctors and a family secret — as the female Callie.

The novel tells the story of a family and the secret it carried from Greece to America in the 1920s. It sweeps through the early days of the Ford Motor Co., the 1967 civil rights riots and the elegant Grosse Pointe suburbs, following Cal/Callie’s intellectual journey as he/she learns the truth.

Since many neighborhoods in Michigan have changed little over the decades, finding locations in Detroit and the state to match places in the book could prove fairly easy.

HBO is no stranger to Detroit. The cabler’s new hit series “Hung” is set in Michigan and films in Detroit as well.

Eugenides’ debut novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” was made into a feature helmed by Sophia Coppola and starred Kirsten Dunst.

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