Variety has learned that the project is in very early development stages, and that no script has yet been written. Hulu earlier this year acquired the rights to develop a series based on the landmark 1952 novel, which is owned by the Ralph and Fanny Ellison Charitable Trust. John Callahan is serving as an executive producer on the project.
Winner of the National Book Award in 1953, “Invisible Man” is considered a classic of 20th century American literature. The novel is told from the perspective of an unnamed African-American narrator who considers himself to be socially invisible due to the color of his skin. The narrator recalls stories from his life — first growing up and attending college in the South, then migrating to and living in New York City.
Hulu has had recent success with literary adaptations. In September, the first season of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the dystopian feminist novel by Margaret Atwood, won eight Primetime Emmy Awards — including best drama series and best actress in a drama series for star Elisabeth Moss. The streaming service debuted miniseries “11.22.63,” based on a Stephen King novel, last year, and has another King adaptation, “Castle Rock,” in the works.
Speaking to Variety following the Emmys, Hulu senior VP of content described how “The Handmaid’s Tale” reflected the streaming service’s original programming strategy. “We’re looking to tell intimate character stories against large worlds and large canvases that have really strong, resonant, and permanent dramatic underpinnings,” he said.