Multiple bidders — including Showtime, Netflix and others — are in talks for a big commitment to a limited series starring Daniel Craig in an adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel “Purity,” to be produced by Scott Rudin and written by Todd Field and Franzen. Field is also set to direct.
Rudin is said to have held a round of meetings with Showtime, Netflix, FX and at least three other outlets earlier this week in search of a straight-to-series order.
Given the auspices, the project generated significant heat and multiple bidders. Industry sources said producers were seeking a 20-episode order. Sources cautioned that the talks were early and the project could land at any outlet.
“Purity,” published in September, tells the story of an aimless young woman named Purity but known as Pip. She was raised in unusual circumstances in Northern California and winds up bouncing around after college from Oakland to Bolivia to Denver in a series of jobs and relationships with equally offbeat characters.
Craig has said in interviews that he’s ready to wrap his run as James Bond. His tenure as Agent 007 has to date spanned four films starting in 2006 with “Casino Royale” through the most recent Bond pic, “Spectre,” released in November.
“Purity” would mark Craig’s first TV series in the U.S., although the actor worked regularly in TV in his native U.K. before his film career took off in the late 1990s.
Rudin has stepped up his TV activity in the past few years. His Scott Rudin Productions banner signed an expansive first-look deal with Fox Networks Group last year. At present Rudin has development projects percolating at Fox, FX and National Geographic Channel. The seasoned film and legit producer was also an exec producer of HBO’s Aaron Sorkin drama series “The Newsroom.”
Field earned Oscar nominations as the screenwriter of 2001’s “In the Bedroom” and 2006’s “Little Children.” He’s been active in TV development in recent years with projects at HBO, SundanceTV and Showtime.
Franzen’s widely praised 2001 novel “The Corrections,” which won a National Book Award for fiction, was developed as a series at HBO with Rudin producing, but the project didn’t move forward after a pilot was shot in 2012.
Rudin is repped by WME. Craig and Field are with CAA.
Debra Birnbaum contributed to this report.
(Pictured: Daniel Craig, Scott Rudin)