Sam Levinson has found his next project for HBO.
The Euphoria showrunner will executive produce a new television series for the network based on Stephen Markley’s debut novel Ohio, which the author will pen. Like the book, which is equal parts murder mystery and social critique, the show will explore a generation that’s come of age knowing only war, recession, racial hostility and partisanship.
Ohio will attempt to capture the fractured soul of the country through the lens of a fictional Midwestern town ravaged by the Great Recession, an opioid crisis and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The series will focus on one sweltering, fateful summer night in 2013 when four former classmates return to their rust belt hometown, each carrying their own regrets, secrets and lost loves.
Written by Markley, an Ohio native and Iowa Writers Workshop grad, the book was published by Simon and Schuster in 2018 to rave reviews. NPR called it a “wild, angry, and devastating masterpiece of a book” while The New York Times dubbed it an “earnestly ambitious debut.” Markley will write and executive produce the small screen adaptation from MGM Television. Other executive producers include Levinson and his wife Ashley Levinson, along with Kevin Turen, Andrew Mittman for 1.21 and Steve Stark for Toluca Pictures.
Levinson first developed a relationship with HBO in 2017 when he co-wrote the network’s Bernie Madoff film The Wizard of Lies, which his father Barry Levinson directed. The younger Levinson is currently working with the network on the second season of his acclaimed drama series Euphoria, which has been praised for its raw portrayal of modern teenage life. Last summer, Zendaya — who also starred in his most recent film Malcom & Marie — became the youngest person to win the best lead actress in a drama Emmy for her work in the series.
Levinson is repped by WME, Stuart Manashil and Sloss Law. Markley is repped by CAA, the Gotham Group and Writers House. Mittman is repped by attorney David Matlof.