Paramount Television Studios has acquired the television rights to the book “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides in a competitive situation, Variety has learned exclusively.
The book was first published in 2002 and has gone on to sell more than 4 million copies. It also won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. It was previously in the works as a series at HBO back in 2009.
The story follows Calliope “Cal” Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family as they travel from their tiny village to Prohibition-era Detroit, eventually witnessing the race riots of 1967 before moving out to suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Over the course of the story, Cal discovers that he is intersex, tracing his transformation to a genetic condition that runs through the family.
No network or streaming service is currently attached to the project.
David Manson is attached to write the series with Sam Taylor Johnson onboard to direct. Manson, who is under an overall deal at Paramount TV Studios, has previously worked as a writer and executive producer on the critically-acclaimed Netflix shows “Ozark,” “Bloodlines,” and “House of Cards.”
He is repped by Behr Abramson Levy.
Taylor Johnson directed the blockbuster film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the opening two episodes of the Netflix series “Gypsy.” She is also known for directing the films “A Million Little Pieces” — based on the book of the same name — and “Nowhere Boy.”
She is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Sloane Offer.
Should the show move forward this time, it would mark the thrd time Eugenides’ work has been adapted for the screen. His debut novel “The Virgin Suicides” was adapted into a film by Sofia Coppola in 1999, while his short story “Baster” was adapted into the 2010 film “The Switch.” He is repped by Lynn Nesbit of Janklow & Nesbit for publishing and by CAA for film and TV.
Paramount TV Studios’ current shows include Amazon’s “Jack Ryan” starring John Krasinski, Apple’s “Home Before Dark” and “Defending Jacob,” and “The Haunting” anthology series at Netflix.