HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming platform, has given a straight-to-series order for Circe, an adaptation of Madeline Miller‘s bestselling novel of the same name, according to Deadline.
Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who co-wrote the latest Planet of the Apes trilogy and Jurassic World, will write and executive produce the 8-episode dramatic series.
The series is described as “a modern take on the world of Greek mythology told from the powerful feminist perspective of the goddess Circe, who transforms from an awkward nymph to a formidable witch, able to challenge gods, titans and monsters alike.”
Circe marks the first television effort for husband and wife writing duo Jaffa and Silver, who are also working on Disney’s live-action Mulan remake and the first two sequels to James Cameron’s Avatar.
Per Deadline, Sarah Aubrey, head of original content for HBO Max, had the following to say about the series:
“Circe tells an epic story of love, loss, tragedy and immortal conflict, all through the eyes of a fierce female lens,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Rick and Amanda’s work and their ability to simultaneously build epic imaginative worlds while creating emotional dynamic characters. In partnership with Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping, we have the dream team to bring Circe to life.”
The series is scheduled to debut on HBO MAX in Spring 2020 as a potential fantasy franchise.
Those familiar with Greek mythology will know Circe, the daughter of the god Helios and sea nymph Perse, for her interactions with Odysseus and his crew and her ability to transform people into animals, as told in the Homer classic The Odyssey. Madeline Miller’s 2018 novel is an historical fiction account of the life and times of Circe from the goddess’s point of view as she interacts with other popular figures from Greek mythology. In it, we see her origins as a powerless, unalluring goddess-nymph hybrid who turns to witchcraft to fight her enemies and face up to the gods.
For the description of the HBO Max series, I’m not exactly sure what “modern take on the world of Greek mythology” description means. While Miller’s novel isn’t written like Homer’s epic poem, it does still take place in ancient times and the language doesn’t contain modern slang. Perhaps by “modern” they mean feminist? Then maybe “progressive” would be a better word. I guess we’ll have to wait and see as more details about the series are announced, but I hope it doesn’t mean they’re taking the story into modern times a la Percy Jackson.
The Circe series joins a long list of projects recently announced by HBO MAX, such as Dune: The Sisterhood, an adaptation of a novel set in the world of Frank Herbert’s Dune; The Flight Attendant starring Big Bang Theory‘s Kaley Cuoco; a Gremlins animated prequel series, and more.
Miller’s novel Circe is available now in Hardcover, Kindle, and Audiobook, and will be released in Paperback on January 28, 2020. (FYI – Not only is it a fantastic read, but the audiobook is great too. Also, the hardcover edition is very attractive, so if you’re into collecting books, this version would make a nice addition; and I’d recommend getting it soon, because once the paperback comes out, it will be harder to get. I ran into this issue with Miller’s first book, The Song Of Achilles.)