David Milch, pretty much the premiere TV writer of his generation, has an HBO deal to adapt more than a hundred novels and short stories of William Faulkner, pretty much the premiere writer of his generation.
Some deal indeed, and highly unusual -- maybe unprecedented. Of course, many Faulkner novels have been adapted for the screen like "The Reivers" but rarely for TV for the simple and obvious reason that they are difficult, dense, complicated and -- hence -- not exactly commercial TV material. But if anyone can make this work, Milch is certainly the man. Come to think of it, "Deadwood" was kind of like Faulkner's novel "As I Lay Dying." Check out the statement below -- some of the books could yield movies or miniseries.
Per the HBO release: "Under the terms of the agreement, Milch will partner with Lee Caplin, the executor of the William Faulkner Literary Estate and chief executive of Picture Entertainment Corp., to choose which works to develop, package and produce. Both Milch and Caplin will act as executive producers of those projects, with Milch serving as the executive writer in charge of adapting the works. The agreement gives HBO an exclusive first opportunity to finance, produce and distribute the projects as movies, miniseries and series. Olivia Milch will serve as coordinating producer on the projects."
Milch's "Luck," starring Dustin Hoffman, will be previewed in a week or so.
Now, for the fun of it, a pop quiz!
Who starred in 1959's "The Sound and the Fury?"
Who starred in 1969's "The Reivers?"
(No fair peeking, like I did...)
Answers: Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, respectively.