Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”) is returning to HBO for a TV adaptation of Wally Lamb’s bestselling novel “I Know This Much is True.” Ruffalo will helm the series as executive producer and the series’ leading man-or in this case, men.
The project is the second collaboration between the critically acclaimed actor and HBO, following his movie “The Normal Heart,” a film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s hit play which won a Best TV Movie Emmy last year. HBO has been tentatively venturing into dramatic projects starring well-known film actors, winning big with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in “True Detective” and Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman’s runaway hit “Big Little Lies.”
According to Deadline, the upcoming drama is written and directed by indie filmmaker Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine”), and follows the lives of twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey who ride out the latter half of the 1900s. Ruffalo will star as both main characters. Ruffalo and Lamb have reportedly been working on the adaptation for 2 years, and will executive produce alongside Cianfrance, Ben Brown and Glen Glasner from indie production banner FilmNation.
Cianfrance’s made a name for himself in the indie scene, directing Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine,” Gosling and Eva Mendes in “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “The Light Between Oceans” with Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz. The director snagged a DGA award earlier this year for an upcoming film about the history of the Comanche wars, set for release in 2018. Ruffalo is also known for his love of independent films, continuing to star in indies after landing the role of Bruce Banner and The Hulk in the “Avengers” films. Meanwhile, FilmNation is currently riding a wave of praise for Kumail Nanjiani’s “The Big Sick,” which could win big during this awards season.
No word yet on when “I Know This Much is True” will premiere.