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The premium cable network has handed out a straight-to-series order for The Undoing, a limited series starring Kidman that reunites the actress with Big Little Lies writer Kelley and executive producer Bruna Papandrea.
Based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s book You Should Have Known, the psychological thriller revolves around Grace Sachs (Kidman), who is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist on the brink of publishing her first book, and has a devoted husband and young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. Weeks before her book is published, a chasm opens in her life: a violent death, a missing husband and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster — and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice — Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.
Kelley, as he did with Big Little Lies, will pen the script, serve as showrunner and exec produce through his David E. Kelley Productions. Kidman will exec produce via her Blossom Films banner, with the company’s Per Saari also attached. Papandrea will exec produce via her Made Up Stories banner. A search for a director is underway.
“We’re thrilled to continue our creative relationships with both Nicole and David and can’t wait to bring this show to life,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys said Monday in a statement.
The Undoing comes shortly after Hulu went straight-to-series on Reese Witherspoon starrer Little Fires Everywhere. The Undoing represents a reunion for most of the creative team behind HBO’s awards darling Big Little Lies. Papandrea, who was instrumental in the success of Big Little Lies, split from longtime producing partner Witherspoon to launch her own shingle. (This is Papandrea and her Made Up Stories banner’s third series, joining TNT’s Deadlier Than the Male and season two of Big Little Lies.)
“I loved this book. A character-driven psychological thriller, I’m excited about the adaptation and thrilled to be able to do it with Nicole and HBO,” Kelley said.
For Kidman’s part, her Blossom Films is also teaming with Witherspoon and Papandrea to adapt Big Little Lies author Laine Moriarty’s new novel Truly Madly Guilty into a limited series. A network is not yet attached. Kidman won an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award for her role as Celeste Wright on Big Little Lies.
“David has created another propulsive series with a fascinating, complicated female role at its center. I’m excited and honored to continue collaborating with HBO and David E. Kelly,” said Kidman, who will next reprise her role on season two of Big Little Lies in 2019.
Kelley is repped by CAA and Michael Gendler; Blossom Films is with CAA and Alan Werthheimer; and Papandrea is with WME.
For HBO, The Undoing joins a roster of drama originals that also includes Game of Thrones, Westworld, The New Pope, J.J. Abrams’ Demimonde, Jordan Peele’s Lovecraft Country, True Detective, Sharp Objects, The Deuce and Here and Now, among others.
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