Actress Jennifer Carpenter and producer George Stelzner are developing a drama series based on the recent nonfiction book “The Death Class: A True Story About Life.”
“Dexter” alum Carpenter and Stelzner have optioned the rights to the book, penned by former Los Angeles Times writer Erika Hayasaki and published in January by Simon & Schuster.
“Death Class” revolves around Norma Bowe, a Ph.D and registered nurse who teaches a class in preparing for death at Kean University in New Jersey. The course has gained national attention for Bowe’s fearless exploration of end-of-life issues and her approach to helping students (and clients of her consulting practice) use an array of techniques to come to grips with the reality of mortality.
“Norma is such a dynamic force,” said Carpenter. “Her world is rich and textured, and the results of her work are inexplicably redemptive and life-affirming.”
Stelzner is a former Hallmark Entertainment exec who heads West Egg Studios, which specializes in handling literary adaptations. The shingle is at work on projects for Fox, FX, ABC Studios, Fox TV Studios, Spike and A+E Networks.
“The content of ‘Death Class’ is such fertile ground for series development,” said Stelzner.
Carpenter and Stelzner are starting to look for a writer to adapt the book to a series.
Carpenter’s move on “Death Class” comes just as she’s wrapped production as a co-star of the ABC/Sony Pictures TV drama pilot “Sea of Fire.”
She’s repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment. Stelzner’s with Amy Schiffman at Intellectual Property Group. Hayasaki is repped by Robbins Office, and the option deal was handled by CAA.