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Todd Haynes Developing Adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Lesbian Murder Mystery The Paying Guests

fltr: Natalia Portman Julianna Moore and Tod Haynes
Always one to juggle a handful of projects in development, as Todd Haynes’ delightfully entertaining drama May December finally arrives in theaters this week, the director has been sharing updates on what he’s working on. While it seems like his Joaquin Phoenix-led 1930s-set gay drama is next on the docket, the director has revealed another project he’s working on.

Speaking to Indiewire, Haynes revealed he’s developing an adaptation of Sarah Waters’ 2014 novel The Paying Guests. “It’s a three-part limited series that would need to be a British production, but it’s a really great novel.” Set in post-WWI London, the drama is part lesbian love story and part murder mystery following a down-and-out widow and her daughter, the latter taking up a relationship with one of their lodgers. Waters also wrote Fingersmith, which was adapted into The Handmaiden by Park Chan-wook. Meanwhile, Haynes also confirmed our scoop from last year that he’d be reteaming with Katie Winslet for another HBO miniseries, this time for an adaptation of Hernan Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize winner Trust.

Here’s the official synopsis for The Paying Guests via Amazon: “It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.”

Ahead of the theatrical release of May December this Friday, see a new poster below for its exclusive 35mm engagement, opening at NYC’s Film at Lincoln Center.
 may december film poster

 

 FILMSTAGE

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