Showtime has picked up the 20-episode series Purity, starring and executive-produced by Daniel Craig, which will begin production in 2017.
Based on the novel of the same name by Pultizer Prize finalist Jonathan Franzen, the series will be written, directed and executive-produced by Todd Field. Executive producers also include Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Broadway playwright David Hare and Franzen. Hare and Franzen will also serve as writers on the series, which will air over the course of two years on the cable network.
Purity, according to production notes, 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,” stated David Nevins, president and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. “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.”
Screen star Craig has been seen on Broadway in A Steady Rain and Betrayal. Hare's Tony-nominated plays include Plenty, Racing Demon and Skylight. Franzen won the National Book Award and was a Pulitzer finalist for his 2001 novel Corrections.