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HBO to Develop Gillian Flynn Novel ‘Dark Places’ as Limited Series

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HBO is developing a limited series based on the Gillian Flynn novel “Dark Places,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Flynn will serve as co-creator, writer, and co-showrunner on the project and holds the rights to the novel. Brett Johnson will also serve as co-showrunner, co-creator and writer, with Guerrin Gardner also credited as co-creator and writer. Theresa Kang and Caroline Garity of Blue Marble Pictures will executive produce along with Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi of Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment.

“Dark Places” was originally published in 2009. The official logline description states:

“Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in the famous 1985 ‘Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.’ She survived—and famously testified that her teenage brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, a pair of mother/daughter true crime ‘detectives’ locate a grownup Libby and pump her for details, believing that Ben is innocent. Libby, having spent her youth working the talk show circuit, hopes to once again turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings —for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist traps, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.”

Should the project go forward, it would be the latest onscreen adaptation of one of Flynn’s novels. “Dark Places” itself was previously adapted into a film in 2015 starring Charlize Theron, though it grossed only $5.1 million worldwide. Flynn previously teamed with HBO on the limited series version of “Sharp Objects,” which starred Amy Adams and was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards. Most famously, Flynn’s novel “Gone Girl” was adapted into the hit film of the same name starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, with Flynn writing the screenplay. Her other screen credits include “Utopia” at Amazon and the feature film “Widows.”

Johnson and Gardner have been married for over 10 years. Johnson previously co-created the Emmy-winning Showtime limited series “Escape at Dannemora,” in which Gardner appeared onscreen. Johnson has also written for shows like “Ray Donovan,” “Mad Men,” and the Hulu limited series “Candy.” Gardner has written a number of short films like “Chowchilla” and “Blind on Blind.”

Flynn is repped by WME, Levine/Greenberg/Rostan Literary Agency, Blue Marble Management, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Johnson is repped by UTA and Yorn Levine. Gardner is repped by Vanguard Management Group.

(Pictured, from left to right: Gillian Flynn, Brett Johnson, Guerrin Gardner)

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