Norman Mailer spy novel “Harlot’s Ghost” is getting the TV treatment, Variety has learned exclusively. Mark Gordon Pictures is developing the book for TV, having acquired the rights to the 1991 title.
The novel centers on Harry Hubbard, the son and godson of legendary CIA agents, whose journey to learn about his past takes him through the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Kennedy assassination. Hubbard is “haunted by women who were loved by both his godfather and President Kennedy,” per Random House’s description of the novel. After its original publication, Francis Ford Coppola optioned the novel as a movie.
The New York Times called “Harlot’s Ghost” a “towering creation… a fiction as real and as possible as actual history.”
Exec producing for eOne-backed Mark Gordon Pictures are Mark Gordon and Bonnie-Chance Roberts, the former head of film at Monumental Pictures who now works in the London office of Mark Gordon’s recently launched production company. Mailer’s sons Michael Mailer and John Buffalo Mailer are serving as consulting producers.
“Mailer is the godfather of creative non-fiction and ‘Harlot’s Ghost’ is a phenomenal labyrinth, crafted from our recent political history, that travels far beyond its initial intrigue,” said Roberts. “But what is really exceptional, is the unsensational humanity of the characters, both real and imagined, that populate our story: the normal men and women whose rivalries, ambitions, sexual desires and everyday decisions have seismic consequences on our world. It’s terrifying, utterly spellbinding, and we cannot wait to bring it to the screen.”
UTA, which represents the Mailer estate, brokered the deal. Also repping the estate is The Wylie Agency.