In an interview with Todd Haynes
more than a year ago, WW broke the news
that the Portland-based director was in talks to helm a miniseries adaptation of James M. Cain's Mildred Pierce
, the same book that inspired Joan Crawford's legendary weepie role.
Yesterday, word came down from Variety
that Haynes' five-hour miniseries has been greenlit by HBO, will start shooting this summer and will star Kate Winslet
in the title role. As long as Mildred isn't an illiterate Nazi who teaches a boy to love, we're happy.
As we previously reported, Variety
confirms Portland novelist Jon Raymond,
who wrote the scripts for Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy
and Wendy and Lucy
, as well as the upcoming Oregon Trail movie Meek's Cutoff
, teamed up with Haynes to write the Mildred Pierce
breaks it all down:
Cineastes already know that "Mildred Pierce" was also made into the 1945 film of the same name, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford in one her most iconic performances. While that version added a murder and excised much of the sex of Cain's novel, we imagine Haynes will be going for a more accurate adaptation, especially with five hours at his disposal to really dig in deep.
Haynes has never hid his love for melodrama with strong female characters, particularly the studied and opulent chamber dramas of Douglas Sirk ("Far From Heaven" being the most direct homage), and he certainly has the right sensibility to tackle Cain's novel. Brave for its time, "Mildred Pierce" tells the story of the titular character, who strives to maintain her family's middle-class lifestyle in the midst of the Great Depression. When her unemployed husband is unable to provide, she separates from him, and with their children in tow, strikes out on their own. While Mildred achieves great financial success, her relationship with her eldest daughter, Veda, becomes strained when she takes for granted the status they've attained.