Portland native’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book will be HBO miniseries

Posted Sept. 02, 2013, at 6:41 a.m.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009, &quotOlive Kitteridge" is slated to become a four-part HBO miniseries. The book, written by Bates graduate Elizabeth Strout, is a series of stories about a woman living on the Maine coast.
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009, "Olive Kitteridge" is slated to become a four-part HBO miniseries. The book, written by Bates graduate Elizabeth Strout, is a series of stories about a woman living on the Maine coast.

Filming is set to begin next week on a miniseries based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book written by Bates graduate and Portland native Elizabeth Strout.

The Massachusetts Film Office announced Thursday that HBO and Playtone will be filming “Olive Kitteridge” on the north shore of Massachusetts throughout this fall.

The four-part drama stars Frances McDormand (“Almost Famous,” “Burn After Reading” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There”) as Olive and Richard Jenkins (“Jack Reacher,” “Step Brothers” and “The Cabin in the Woods”) as her husband. Jenkins was nominated for an Oscar for his work in “The Visitor” in 2009.

According to a Massachusetts Film Office release, the series, based on a screenplay by Jane Anderson, “tells the alternately poignantly sweet, acerbically funny and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive, whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and staunch moral center.”

“We welcome HBO and Playtone to Massachusetts,” Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office, said, “and we are so pleased to host such a prestigious project with such extraordinary talent.”

Bringing Olive Kitteridge to film are executive producers Tom Hanks (“Where the Wild Things Are,” “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Evan Almighty”), Gary Goetzman (“Silence of the Lambs”) and Jane Anderson.

The miniseries is directed by Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids are Alright”) and Steven Shareshian (“Secretary”).

Strout, who was born in Portland and raised in Maine and New Hampshire, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “Olive Kitteridge” in 2009. Her other books include “Abide with Me,” “Amy and Isabelle” and “The Burgess Boys.”

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