Two Oscar winners join HBO’s adaptation of ‘The Corrections’

Fans of the bestselling 2001 Jonathan Franzen novel “The Corrections” have been teased with feature-film talk endlessly over the years – at different points both Stephen Daldry and Robert Zemeckis were attached to direct – until it was finally announced last month that the adaptation would be taking the shape of an HBO TV series instead. Now the project has nabbed one lead in two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest, with Chris Cooper in talks to star alongside her. The two would be playing Enid and Alfred Lambert, the central Midwest couple featured in the novel.

The adaptation has struggled to make it to the screen since producer Scott Rudin bought the film rights prior to the book’s publication in August 2001, with various actors having been rumored for various roles over the years, including Judi Dench, Brad Pitt, Naomi Watts, Tim Robbins and Anthony Hopkins. Even at this point it isn’t assured that HBO will greenlight the series, though if they bag a few more heavy-hitters for the roles of Alfred and Enid’s children it’s looking pretty good.

“The Corrections” centers on the Lambert family – including adult siblings Gary, Chip and Denise – as they come together on Christmas and are forced to grapple with Alfred’s deteriorating mental state. The book also delves deeply into the fraught personal histories of each individual family member at different points in the narrative.

Franzen co-wrote the adaptation with Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”, “Greenberg”), who will direct the pilot.

“The Corrections” was heavily praised on release and went on to win the 2001 National Book Award. It’s considered by many critics to be one of the greatest novels of the early 21st century.