Showtime announced a new limited series “Purity”, based on the novel of the same name from best-selling author Jonathan Franzen, and starring and executive produced by internationally-acclaimed actor Daniel Craig.
Todd Field (Little Children, In the Bedroom) will write, direct and executive produce, along with executive producers Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, David Hare and Jonathan Franzen. Hare and Franzen will also serve as writers on the series. Field will direct every episode. PURITY will be a 20-episode limited series set to air over the course of two years on SHOWTIME. Production will begin in 2017. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.
PURITY is a morally complex story of youthful idealism, extreme loyalty and cold-blooded murder. Jonathan Franzen’s intricately plotted novel is populated by characters both hungry for the truth and desperate to hide it. From STASI offspring to Oakland anarchists, Franzen tracks his characters’ landscapes as varied as East Berlin, the Bolivian jungle, East Harlem walk-ups, and the California Redwoods. Purity is at once supremely ambitious in scope and intensely intimate in its treatment of character – a decades-spanning tragicomedy that builds to a contemporary climax.
“Jonathan Franzen’s Purity is an epic American novel that pulses with the energy of a psychological thriller. I whipped through it in a week,” said Nevins. “His gripping and timely story has attracted a powerhouse team – Todd Field, Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, David Hare, along with Franzen himself, and the brilliant Daniel Craig who is perfectly cast as the charismatic, mysterious ‘Andreas Wolf.’ Put it all together and PURITY promises to be the kind of taut, long-form, serialized storytelling that is the best of premium television, and is precisely what we at Showtime aspire to deliver.”
Daniel is best-known to audiences worldwide for his role as “James Bond” in the blockbuster franchise. Craig’s additional feature film credits include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Road to Perdition, Layer Cake, Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, Infamous and Munich. Craig is also an accomplished stage actor and in 2013 starred in the critically acclaimed Broadway run of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, directed by Mike Nichols.
Craig will next be seen in Othello at the New York Theatre Workshop, opposite David Oyelowo. Craig also starred in the Broadway run of A Steady Rain, opposite Hugh Jackman. His other theater credits include leading roles in Hurlyburly with the Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic, Angels in America at The National Theatre, and A Number at the Royal Court, opposite Michael Gambon.
Writer, director and producer Todd Field made his feature film debut with In the Bedroom. The film was named Best Picture of the Year by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and received five Academy Award nominations.
Field’s next film, Little Children, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, premiered at the 44th New York Film Festival and received similar accolades, including three Academy Award nominations.
Field’s short film Nonnie & Alex premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and received a Special Jury Prize. His short film When I was a Boy also premiered at the festival, and went on to the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films Series, screening at the Museum of Modern Art. As an actor, Field has appeared in the feature films Ruby in Paradise and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.
Jonathan Franzen is a best-selling author whose multilayered and psychologically incisive novels about contemporary America have elicited wide critical acclaim. Franzen’s novels Freedom and The Corrections were enormous international bestsellers, with translations in 35 languages, American hardcover sales of nearly one million copies each, and nominations for every major book prize in the country. Franzen was awarded the National Book Award for The Corrections and the Heartland Prize for Freedom. His fifth novel, Purity, became an immediate bestseller in 2015. Franzen is also a highly-regarded journalist, essayist, and memoirist whose work appears regularly in The New Yorker and has been collected in four volumes of nonfiction, including Farther Away and How to Be Alone. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
David Hare is a playwright and filmmaker. He has written over thirty stage plays which include Skylight, Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Amy’s View, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, South Downs, The Absence of War, The Judas Kiss and The Moderate Soprano. For film and television, he has written twenty five screenplays which include The Hours, The Reader, Licking Hitler, Dreams of Leaving, Saigon: Year of the Cat, Wetherby, Damage and the Worricker Trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. In a millennial poll of the greatest plays of the 20th century, five of the top 100 were his.