It has been over five years since Gillian Flynn published her critically acclaimed bestseller Gone Girl. In that time, Flynn's has career skyrocketed, and in 2014, Gone Girl was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film. Following Gone Girl's success, Flynn's two other novels were fast tracked for adaptations of their own. Dark Places premiered in 2015, and now Sharp Objects (Flynn's debut novel) is getting the premium cable treatment.
#SharpObjects is the story of Camille Preaker, a self-destructive journalist who returns to her sleepy hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri after learning about the death of two young girls, believed to be the work of a serial killer. As of yet, we haven't been given much information about the upcoming HBO adaptation, so I decided to organize everything we do know into one place.
A Sharp Cast
Although Sharp Objects is bypassing the silver screen for the small screen, that doesn't necessarily mean a dip in quality. In fact, judging by the cast, I'd say Sharp Objects has a better chance at being on par with Gone Girl's acclaim than the critical failure that was Dark Places. Amy Adams is set to play the titular role of Camille Preaker and Patricia Clarkson will play her mother, Adora. Adams and Clarkson are, of course, no strangers to award buzz. Rounding out the Preaker women is Australian actress Eliza Scanlen, a relative unknown who will be bringing life to Camille's vivacious, teenage half-sister, Amma.
Other notable cast additions include Chris Messina as Detective Willis and Elizabeth Perkins as Jackie.
An UnREAL Resume
The show is being developed by Marti Noxon, known for creating Lifetime's Emmy-nominated television show UnREAL. Some of Noxon's other writing credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, and most recently, the Netflix original film, To the Bone. Both Noxon and Flynn seem to have a penchant for giving life to wicked, complicated and nuanced depictions of women, and their writing styles are complementary.
According to an interview Noxon gave with MTV, she and Flynn have already had many discussions about the themes and motifs of Sharp Objects, particularly those that pertain to women and the violence surrounding them. Noxon gave us a tease of what to expect from the series:
"We're not going to back off from anything. There’s been a couple of times when I said something to Gillian, and she’s like, 'Dude, that’s dark!' And I'm like, 'Who are you to talk?'"
"I think that in this era of 'True Detective,' and these series that really delve into some pretty gnarly places... That’s where TV really excels. There's a tolerance for particularly dark female characters."
In addition to Sharp Objects, Noxon worked with Elizabeth Perkins on To the Bone, and it looks like she has a great repertoire with her cast already.
A Veteran Director
Jean-Marc Valleé is just getting started on his victory tour for the critically acclaimed miniseries Big Little Lies, which wrapped this past spring. Sharp Objects couldn't have gotten a better director than him. Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects are similar in that they are both are lead by complicated, fierce women. Additionally, both series are based on novels penned by a female author.
Valleé worked closely with the author of Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty, to ensure that his adaptation was authentic to the source material. So, we can anticipate the same with Flynn. In fact, we'll probably be expect even more of Flynn's influence, as she will be an executive producer on the project.
While Sharp Objects is somewhat darker and contains more psychologically-based material than Big Little Lies, I still think that Valleé will do amazing things with this project. Some of his other credits include: Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, so he's certainly no stranger to directing his projects right onto the awards circuit.
The Mastermind Herself
Just like with Gone Girl, Flynn has her hands all over this project, and if Gone Girl is to be held as the example, then Sharp Objects is going to do just fine. As mentioned above, Flynn will be an executive producer on the miniseries and is rumored to be writing a few episodes herself. Gone Girl's screenplay was nominated for a Golden Globe and Critic's Choice Award, which leads me to believe that Flynn knows what she's doing when it comes to adapting her work.
The one big question remaining is: When will it air? Unfortunately, we don't have an air date yet, but we do know that filming began this past March in Los Angeles.
If the Big Little Lies production schedule is any indication (filmed in January 2016 and then aired in February 2017), it seems like it's on track to premiere in the late spring or early summer of 2018.
What elements from Sharp Objects do you hope get carried over in the miniseries?