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The Leftovers is a go at HBO. Warner Bros. TV passed along the good news today that HBO has given Damon Lindeloff's TV adaptation of Tom Perrotta's novel The Leftovers a series order. The pilot episode was written by Lindelof (Lost) and Perrotta, with Friday Night Lights' Peter Berg credited for directing the episode.
HBO gave the TV adaptation of The Leftoveres a 10-episode order. The official log line is "The Rapture happens, but not quite like it’s supposed to. This is the story of the people who didn’t make the cut ... and a world that will never be the same."
Tom Perrotta's book picks up in the wake of a rapture-like event during which a sizable chunk of the human population just up and vanished all at once, leaving those left behind to wonder why they weren't included. The state of society is altered, but not quite apocalyptically so, as people are affected by the rapture in different ways, some grieving the loss of their loved ones and others simply trying to find meaning in their lives. For some, that's joining a cult called the Guilty Remnant, which involves chain-smoking and silently judging people, for others, it's trying to maintain normalcy in the post-rapture world.
Since we learned that Perrotta's book was being adapted for a potential HBO series, there's been some very interesting casting developments, including Justin Theroux, who's set to play Kevin Garvey, the chief of police and father of two whose wife Laurie (Amy Brenneman) has abandoned her family to join the Guilty Remnant (assuming that's what the show is calling the cult). Liv Tyler's set to play Meg, a young woman who also finds herself tied to the cult.
Also among the cast are Christopher Eccleston, Emily Meade, Margaret Qualley and twins Max and Charlie Carver.
As a fan of the book, I've been curious to see how this project would work as a TV series. Given how spread out the story is, though many of the characters are interrelated in one way or the other, there's certainly potential for a great ensemble story here, if that's the direction showrunner Damon Lindelof is aiming for. And given Lost, it might not be such a stretch to assume Lindelof's gearing this up as its own kind of surviver-drama, minus the island. Perrotta's book does make us wonder what caused the rapture and why it happened, but the emphasis of the story is really on the aftermath and how it affects the people who were left behind. With that in mind, I can certainly see it working well as a character drama with a darker tone.
We'll be sure to let you know when HBO plans to get this one on the air, and hopefully we'll get a peek or two at the cast and setting for this series in the near future. Pick up a copy of Perrotta's book here.