The Karin Slaughter novel, “Pieces of Her,” has been picked up for a television adaptation in a new deal that marks the third of the bestselling author’s books to enter active development. Slaughter, whose novels have been published in thirty-seven languages and have sold over thirty-five million copies, is known for her gritty style and focus on crime and dark narratives. The new television project will be produced by Bruna Papandrea’s company, Made Up Stories. It will have a team of additional co-producers behind it as well, including industry veteran Steve Hutensky. Taking a closer look at the deal and its producers will give some insight into the shape the project may take as development progresses.
Nose for business
As one of the primary producers on the project, Steve Hutensky will likely play a sizable role in its development. This will not only give the opportunity for his unique sensibilities to steer the direction of the deal, but also for him to play a part in the business end of the project. His ability to do so will stem in part from an academic foundation of business and law at both Dartmouth College and New York University. It will also draw from his time at Relativity Media where he acted as the head of business affairs. During his time in this position he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s business and legal undertakings, as well as aspects of production, development, and acquisition.
Before his time at Relativity, he headed the self-funded independent production company, Walk The Walk Entertainment. Originally based in New York, the company was responsible for many of his early endeavors in television and film. Walk The Walk is still actively producing content at present and Hutensky still develops projects through the company both independently and by partnering with other production companies and studios.
The source material for this latest development project is a recently published novel in the suspense thriller genre by the same name as the series. The book centers on the story of a woman named Andrea who felt she had a complete understanding of the nature of her own mother. That conception is shattered, however, after a shooting at a local mall. At that shooting, it is Andrea’s mother who stops the gunman by killing him. That revelation causes Andrea’s life to unravel through the progressive action of the book.
When discussing the novel’s action and reason for its development into a television series, producer Bruna Papandrea singles out the unique tone and narrative that sets Slaughter’s writing apart from her peers. “From the moment I started reading Karin’s visceral new novel, I felt like there was nothing like it on TV – an emotional mother/daughter story living in the skin of a heart-pounding action thriller,” said Papandrea.
In addition to the producers that have been brought on to form the deal, the development team has worked to ensure an enviable team of creatives will be playing an integral role in bringing Slaughter’s novel to the small screen. Writer Charlotte Stoudt, who is known for her work on both “House of Cards” and “Homeland,” will be adapting the novel while also serving as an executive producer for the series. To direct, as well as executive produce, the team has tapped Lesli Linda Glatter, who has directed numerous episodes of both “Mad Men” and “Homeland.”
When discussing the creative team for the project, Papandrea was again laudatory of her team’s abilities. “I can’t think of a more perfect pairing than Lesli and Charlotte to translate Karin’s novel to the screen,” said Papandrea. “It’s truly a dream team of female content creators.”
In addition to the past television shows that have benefited from the attention of the series’ creative team, the producers have a long list of film and television projects that have earned them a variety of recognition. Steve Hutensky is known for a range of independent films, of which his first is the spiritual documentary “Wake Up.” That film followed the story of a man who suddenly found himself endowed with the ability to witness supernatural occurrences such as the existence of angels and devils. It made waves not only from its tour around the country to exhibit at various theaters, but also from its use in the pilot episode of “Super Soul Sunday” on Oprah Winfrey’s television network.
Recently Hutensky is known for his work producing 2:22, a genre-bending independent film that spans both science fiction and romance. It tells the story of an air traffic controller embroiled in a mystery that both helps him avoid a mid-air collision and introduces him to a new love interest. However, as the plot unspools it becomes clear there is more to those seemingly fortuitous events than meets the eye.
Papandrea’s company, Made Up Stories, which will be producing the series, is likewise responsible for a host of well-known content over the years. Having recently paired with Nicole Kidman on the acclaimed HBO series “Big Little Lies,” the company’s television credentials are solidly established. But in addition to its television work, the company is known for the range of hit films that it has produced over the years. These productions include “Gone Girl,” “Wild,” “Milk,” and “Warm Bodies.” A central part of the company’s mission is to create content that is not only entertaining but also contains compelling female figures that are central to its narrative. The company also works to promote female writers, directors, producers, and actors to help them focus on the stories they see fit to tell.
With the announcement of the new television series coming hot off the heels of the release of the novel version of “Pieces of Her,” fans of both Karin Slaughter and the series’ production and creative team have a lot to look forward to. For those encouraged by the past television and film hits of both Bruna Papandrea and Steve Hutensky, expectations are high for this latest collaboration. We will continue to monitor the project as it develops to keep readers informed as to the shape it will ultimately take.
More about Steve Hutensky at https://www.facebook.com/steve.hutensky