In a move that is now almost surprising to no one, HBO has scooped up the 'rights' for another lit novel project. This time around it's Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding. This novel drops in September and involves a midwestern baseball team, but something goes awry after a fan or someone is hit by a ball. HBO has optioned this story to be developed as a series.
That's all and good, except Harbach may have to 'wait for his turn to bat.' Or 'sit on the bench.' Or 'tough it out in the minors.' Or some other relevant sports metaphor.
Turns out that HBO already has projects from the likes of funny man Sam Lipsyte, genre-bender Jennifer Egan and sci-fi-er Neil Gaiman. That's just to name a few. Here's the complete list (h/t NY Observer) of novelists awaiting the HBO treatment. Pretty soon, writers will get the cockamamie idea to just skip this whole literature thing altogether and 'swing for the fences' to develop an HBO show from the start.
But while we're here, let's go ahead and mention the semi-lit projects already at HBO, that being Jonathan Ames' Bored To Death and the immensely popular Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Oh yeah, there's True Blood, but was that literature? I'm not sure.
Harbach has a 'puncher's chance' of succeeding because mega-uber-super-producer Scott Rudin is attached to the project. He's cracked open a few books himself and flipped them into movies. Hey, I've bet you've even heard of them. Stuff like The Social Network, No Country For Old Men, Revolutionary Road, Lemony Snicket, and the upcoming Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, plus others.
Seems like he knows how to make a winner. Let's see if Harbach's project has what it takes for 'the big leagues.'