"We are going to shoot every page," said McCann. "Ulysses is about nothing if not language, and HBO has hired me to make sure that all that wonderful language makes it to the screen."
The series will run 18 episodes over two years and will all take place during one long day in June as Leopold Bloom travels through the streets of Dublin, interacting with the ghosts of Irish history.
"It's going to be great," said McCann. "Drugs, sex, adultery, violence, poetry. There's a villain. This one-eyed nationalist fellow. While it's all a bit dark and fantastical, in the end it's about how hard married love can be, which is something I think all Americans can appreciate"
McCann has been hosting Bloomsday readings at the Ulysses Bar in New York City's Financial District for over ten years. He's been longing to see Ulysses as a long-form serial television drama ever since hearing Colin Farrell's rendition of "The Scylla and Charybdis" section of the novel.
"We wanted Colin Farrell and we got Colin Farrel," said McCann. "I can't think of a single better person to play Stephen Dedalus. And with Jeff (Goldblum) along for the ride as Leopold, we really can't lose."
McCann is no stranger to screenwriting. In 2005, his short story "Everything in This Country Must" was turned into a short film by Gary McKendry and nominated for an Academy Award.
In addition to the "Ulysses" project, McCann is also working with producer J.J. Abrams to adapt "Let the Great World Spin" into a film scheduled for release in 2012.
"If James Joyce were alive today, he probably wouldn't watch much TV," said McCann. "But this isn't TV. It's HBO."
Posted by miracle on Thu, 01 Apr 2010 12:47:30 -0500 -- permanent link