Renowned novelists and production executives Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have signed a multi-year overall production pact with CBS Television Studios. Under the agreement, CBS will have exclusive rights to produce television content created and developed by the husband-and-wife team across all platforms. The agreement includes a commitment for a limited series from Showtime for an adaption of Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (buy here), to be written and executive produced by Chabon and Waldman, who will also serve as executive producer/showrunners.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is an epic tale of love, war and the birth of America’s comic book superhero obsession in big-band-era New York. Award-winning writer/producer/directors Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman are also attached to the project as executive producers. The project will be produced by Paramount Television and CBS Television Studios.
The novel, which has been called one of the most important works of fiction of the 21st century, has sold millions of copies around the world, and has won dozens of literary prizes beyond the Pulitzer. Kavalier and Clay has been credited for the legitimization of comic books as a serious literary genre, and was also the inspiration for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York’s exhibition “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy.”
“Ayelet and Michael are two of America’s pre-eminent writers,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “From award-winning novels and non-fiction to their television and film collaborations, they have a remarkable body of work. We’re thrilled to have them on our incredibly talented roster.”
“The team at CBS Studios is the best we’ve ever worked with,” said Waldman and Chabon. “We’re looking forward with so much excitement to this next phase of our collaboration.”
Chabon is currently attached to CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard as executive producer and will remain with the series until he transitions full-time to showrunner of Kavalier and Clay sometime next year.
Waldman and Chabon have several projects in various stages of development, including A Really Good Day starring Anna Chlumsky (Veep) for Showtime, based on Waldman’s book about “microdosing” with LSD. Peter Berg, Michael Lombardo and Elizabeth Rogers will executive produce via Film44. Additional projects include: Behind You from National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson for Hulu; The Heavens, inspired by the bestselling novel; and Ghost Ship, the tragic story of the Oakland, Calif. art collective that caught fire, with 36 fatalities.
In addition to the above-mentioned television and film projects, Chabon and Waldman are curating an anthology of essays, Fight of the Century (from ViacomCBS-owned Simon and Schuster), a unique collaboration between the couple and the American Civil Liberties Union. The book features original essays about civil rights and social justice by the most influential writers at work today — including Jennifer Egan, Neil Gaiman, Marlon James, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Salman Rushdie, Jesmyn Ward and more — each writing about a landmark ACLU case (including Brown v. Board of Education, the Scopes trial and Roe v. Wade) published in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the organization.
Ayelet Waldman is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels and works on nonfiction, including A Really Good Day, Love and Treasure, Bad Mother and others. She is an executive producer of Netflix’s Unbelievable.
Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novels The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Moonglow, Wonder Boys, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Telegraph Avenue, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Summerland, The Final Solution and Gentlemen of the Road; the short story collections A Model World and Werewolves in Their Youth; and the essay collections Maps and Legends, Manhood for Amateurs, Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces and Bookends.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Chabon has won the Hugo, Nebula, Mythopoeic, Sidewise and Ignotus awards (Spain’s Hugo Award), and many others. His screenplays and teleplays include John Carter, Spider-Man 2, Unbelievable (which he co-wrote with Waldman and Susannah Grant, writer of Erin Brockovich), the Short Treks Calypso and Q&A, and others. He is currently an executive producer of Star Trek: Picard.