Hulu announces a 12-episode TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel Normal People. Rooney is the young writer everyone is talking about at the moment, with her second novel quickly becoming a best-seller shortly after its release. The book comes on the heels of her 2017 debut, Conversations with Friends, as well as several short stories, like ‘Mr. Salary’ and ‘Color and Light,’ both of which were published in 2019 in Granta and The New Yorker, respectively.
Hulu’s acquisition of Normal People is certainly in keeping with the streamer’s recent moves in terms of original content. Hulu has found success with it’s adaptations of novels in the past, most notably with the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning The Handmaid’s Tale, but also with Stephen King’s 11.22.63, and most recently with Jospeh Heller’s Catch-22, which was executive produced by George Clooney. Next year, Hulu is expected to premiere its eight-episode adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, starring Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Joshua Jackson.
Hulu shared an official announcement regarding Normal People, saying it was given a straight-to-series order, presumably on the strength of Rooney’s reputation as an author of significance, as well as Lenny Abrahamson (Frank, Room) coming aboard to direct 6 of the series’ 12 half-hour episodes, with Hettie MacDonald. You can read a synopsis of the book and series below:
“Normal People tracks the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in small-town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College. At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. But when Connell comes to pick up his mother from her cleaning job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world but Connell hangs at the side lines, shy and uncertain.”
Rooney will adapt her own novel along with writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, meaning fans of the book can likely expect the author’s presence to be felt in the series itself. It’s certainly exciting news for readers and television watchers alike, and with Normal People beginning production next week, the series is expected to hit Hulu and BBC Three in 2020.
Normal People will likely premiere on Hulu and BBC Three in 2020.