Snowpiercer producer Tomorrow Studios and Scott Free Productions are to adapt Jonathan Franzen novel, Freedom.

Melanie Marnich (The Affair, Big Love) will write the TV adaptation. Tomorrow Studios is an ITV Studios partnership.

Released in 2010, Freedom was named one of the New York Times 10 best books of the year, winner of the John Gardner Fiction Award, a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist.

The story explores the journey of Patty and Walter Berglund, pioneers of old St. Paul―the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde. However, in the new millennium, they question why their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door, why has Walter, once an environmental lawyer, taken a job working with Big Coal; and why has their perfect neighbor turned into the local Fury. Patty and Walter are indelible characters, and their mistakes and joys, as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, have become touchstones of contemporary American reality.

“Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is a laugh-out-loud, emotional knock-out of a novel and we couldn’t have conjured a better writer to adapt this material than the brilliant Melanie Marnich. We are very excited to bring this project to market with our partners at Tomorrow Studios,” said Ridley Scott for Scott Free Productions.

“In this ever-changing world, parents are just trying to keep up and Freedom explores this incredible journey as only Jonathan Franzen can. We are thrilled to help bring this series to life, adapted by the incredibly talented Melanie Marnich in collaboration with the passionate, steadfast producers at Scott Free,” said Tomorrow Studios’ CEO/Partner Marty Adelstein and President/Partner Becky Clements.

“Of all my novels, Freedom seems to me the most directly pertinent to our current social and political moment– globally the fragile earth, nationally the great red/blue divide. I’m excited to be working with Scott Free and Tomorrow Studios on the adaptation, and I’ve felt from the beginning that Melanie is a perfect choice to write and run the show,” said Franzen.

“In Freedom, Jonathan Franzen created a masterpiece–hilarious, heartbreaking, relentlessly relevant–and I feel so fortunate to be diving into its world. It’s a dream project and it comes with a dream team: Scott Free and Tomorrow Studios. They are brilliant collaborators and I’m thrilled to be creating this show with them,” said Marnich.

Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements will executive produce the series through Tomorrow Studios, along with Franzen, Marnich, and Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Jordan Sheehan, and Clayton Krueger through Scott Free Productions.

Franzen is represented by The Gotham Group on behalf of Susan Golomb of Writers House, and attorney Alex Kohner. Marnich is represented by WME and Rise Management.

Jon Creamer

Share this story

Share Televisual stories within your social media posts.
Be inclusive: is open access without the need to register.
Anyone and everyone can access this post with minimum fuss.