The series, which hails from Anonymous Content, will be the second screen adaptation of the novel should it move forward. It was previously adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film starring James Dean in his final role. The film also starred Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning one.
“Giant” is described as an epic multi-generational novel, set in Texas from the 1920’s to the 1950’s, that tells the story of Jordan “Bick” Benedict, his extended family, their massive ranch and cattle business, and the transition of Texas from ranching to oil.
Traditions are disrupted when Bick marries outspoken Virginia socialite Leslie Lynnton and brings her home to Texas. Leslie resists the enduring bigotry and economic injustice that underlies the massive fortunes of the Benedicts and other Texas families, and becomes embroiled in the tragic feud between her husband and a cast-off ranch hand, Jett Rink, whose small inheritance of land yields a massive oil strike.
It was first published in 1952 by Doubleday & Company and is still in print today, currently published by HarperCollins.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has signed on to direct. He will also executive produce the series alongside Anonymous Content’s David Kanter. Julie Gilbert, trustee of the Edna Ferber Literary Trust, will serve as a consultant on the series. Gilbert is also Ferber’s great-niece.
“Edna Ferber’s 1952 novel ‘Giant’ is an enduring story about family and love for the land, full of powerful characters and complex themes of immigration and citizenship, environmental destruction, worship of wealth, and all-consuming ambition that have so much relevance today,” said Kanter. “We are excited to explore both Ferber’s depiction of the unique identity of Texas and Texans as well as the untold and at times conflicting narrative of the Mexican people whose role, though largely overlooked in the novel, is imperative to telling this story. I am thrilled to be reunited with Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and to enjoy the passionate support of Amazon Prime as we take this journey to bring Ferber’s ‘Giant’ back to the screen.”
Gomez-Rejon most recently directed and was an executive producer on the Amazon series “Hunters.” His other TV credits include “Chambers,” “American Horror Story,” and “Glee.” His feature directing credits include “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and “The Current War: Director’s Cut.”
“I’m beyond thrilled to be reuniting with my friends at Anonymous Content, years after the great Steve Golin first brought me into the fold,” said Gomez-Rejon. “Being from the Texas/Mexican border, ‘Giant’ is a dream project about a world I know intimately and a culture that is somehow both appropriative and unique. Although Edna Ferber’s novel is set in the first half of the twentieth century, and we plan to remain faithful to that, there is an enduring quality about her words, characters and themes that make the story as relevant today as would have been in 1952. We want to maintain the epic scope of Ferber’s brilliant novel, as well as the intersecting – and often conflicting – viewpoints of her characters. With that in mind, we felt that Ferber’s work warranted a series, something that will honor the outstanding legacy of ‘Giant’ but will also allow us to stretch beyond the novel’s pages. I am extremely grateful to Amazon for taking a chance on this adaptation and excited to be partnering with them once again after the wonderful experience that was ‘Hunters.'”
Gomez-Rejon is represented by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. The Edna Ferber Literary Trust is represented by Sara Barkan and Charles Kopelman of A3 Artists Agency and Davis, Wright, Tremaine.