Amazon has had good luck with literary adaptations. Their TV adaptation of Michael Connelly’s popular detective novels about tough cop Harry Bosch (played onscreen by Lost‘s Titus Welliver), just premiered its third season earlier this year. The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick’s classic tale of alternate history, is one of Amazon Prime’s most-watched shows. Now they’re raiding the shelves again for Brightness Falls, based on author Jay McInerney’s acclaimed novel trilogy.
The Brightness Falls trilogy follows the relationship between Russell and Corrine Calloway over three decades, from their first meeting in college, up through years of passion, turmoil, and tragedy. The series kicked off with Brightness Falls in 1992, then continued in 2006’s The Good Life and 2016’s Bright, Precious Days. Variety’s write-up describes the novels as “An unforgettable New York story of glamour, sex, ambition, and heartbreak begins in the heady days before the financial crash.” With 30 years’ worth of story, Amazon’s Brightness Falls could have a good, long run and fit in well alongside shows like Transparent and I Love Dick…assuming it’s done well and people tune in.
Novelists Dana Vachon and Gemma Sieff will be writing the adaptation, as well as serving as executive producers on the project. Neither have any major TV or film credits to their names, so their involvement isn’t really a resounding positive or negative at this point unless you’re already a fan of their books. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies director Burr Steers is attached to direct the show, and will be earning an EP credit as well. That might seem like an odd pairing for the source material, but Steers has previously worked in television, directing episodes of shows such as Big Love, Weeds, and The L Word.
As for novelist Jay McInerney, Brightness Falls isn’t the first time Hollywood has rifled around in his back-catalog. The 1988 Michael J. Fox flick Bright Lights, Big City was based on his novel, and he also wrote the screenplay for the film. (He has a real brightness fixation, doesn’t he?) Assuming Amazon Prime’s Brightness Falls gets a full run, don’t be surprised if McInerney winds up penning an episode or two.