Showtime has given a straight-to-series pickup to the drama with a hefty 20-episode order, which will air over the course of two years. Production begins in 2017, and no premiere date has been set.
Sources say the project is a megabucks deal for “James Bond” star Craig, who will also serve as an exec producer on “Purity.”
Based on Jonathan Franzen’s novel, the television adaptation will be penned by Todd Field, who is also directing all 20 episodes. Field will exec produce with Rudin, Eli Bush, David Hare and Franzen with the latter two also serving as writers on the series. Garrett Basch, who heads the TV efforts of Scott Rudin Productions, will oversee production on “Purity” and serve as a producer
Before landing at Showtime, the hot project generated a slew of high-profile bidders from Netflix to FX and more with Rudin searching for a straight-to-series order, given the impressive auspices.
“Purity” is described as a morally complex story of youthful idealism, extreme loyalty and cold-blooded murder. The book — and TV series — tells intersecting stories of different people of different ages and backgrounds ranging East Berlin to the Bolivian jungle, East Harlem walk-ups and the California Redwoods. The book was published in September 2015.
“Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Purity’ is an epic American novel that pulses with the energy of a psychological thriller. I whipped through it in a week,” said David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc. “His gripping and timely story has attracted a powerhouse team — Todd Field, Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, David Hare, along with Franzen himself, and the brilliant Daniel Craig who is perfectly cast as the charismatic, mysterious Andreas Wolf. Put it all together and ‘Purity’ promises to be the kind of taut, long-form, serialized storytelling that is the best of premium television, and is precisely what we at Showtime aspire to deliver.”
The series marks Craig’s first stateside television show, though the British star worked regularly in TV in the U.K., before making his way into film. The “Purity” news comes as Craig has candidly spoken in recent interviews about ending his run as Bond, and numerous names to replace him in the “007” franchise have surfaced.
For Rudin, “Purity” marks yet another TV project on his slate, following his first-look deal with Fox Networks Group, which he inked last year. The mega-producer is currently developing projects with Fox, FX and Nat Geo.
Craig is repped by CAA and Independent Talent; Franzen by Susan Golomb at Writers House and ICM Partners; Field by CAA, LBI Entertainment and attorney Stuart Rosenthal of Bloom, Hergott, Beimer, Rosenthal, LaViolett, Feldman, Schankman, & Goodman LLP; Hare by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates; and Rudin is repped by WME.