HBO recently hired Noah Baumbach to adapt and direct Jonathan Franzen's critically acclaimed novel The Corrections. Baumbach has a unique voice well suited to co-adapt the author's celebrated work - well, all his work is celebrated and rightfully so - which won the National Book Award in 2001. The material already has a few failed adaptation attempts in its past with producing giant Scott Rudin struggling with the novel for over a decade. However, he finally seems to be putting the right pieces in place.
It was originally reported that either Sir Anthony Hopkins or Donald Sutherland would potentially play the juicy lead role of Alfred Lambert. Now, Deadline is reporting that Oscar winner Chris Cooper might step into the role of the patriarch who suffers from Parkinson's-induced dementia (I told you it was a juicy part). And the great news doesn't end there, as apparently two-time (count 'em, two time) Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest is in talks to play his wife, and the driving force of the novel, Enid.
These are two incredible actors and their inclusion instantly makes the project, which already has several other compelling reasons, worth watching. Cooper was nominated for his work on the HBO series My House in Umbria and won his Oscar for his amazing supporting work in Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation. Wiest won an Emmy for her work on HBO's In Treatment as well as another for her guest role on The Road to Avonlea. Her Oscars came from her frequent collaborations with Woody Allen, one for Hannah and Her Sisters and one for her supporting turn in Bullets Over Broadway.
Franzen's novel is about a dysfunctional family - a Midwestern couple and their three grown children - making Baumbach perfectly suited to handle the, hopefully successful, HBO adaptation. If Cooper and Wiest do sign on that could go a long way to getting the project officially greenlit. I wonder if Baumbach could also convince frequent collaborators like Ben Stiller, Jason Swartzman and Greta Gerwig to be interested in playing the children. I'll be watching closely to see who falls into those pivotal roles since Deadline mentioned that the parts are in the process of being cast.
The Corrections as described on the book sleeve,
After almost fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly at his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain of an affair with a married man-or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.