Renowned Irish author Cecelia Ahern has found plenty of success in the literary world, with sixteen novels under her belt to date. Of those books, two have already been adapted into films. Her latest novel, “Roar”, a collection of thirty stories, is once again showing that her storytelling appeal transcends mediums with an announcement that it is slated for adaptation as a television series. The series will be benefitting not only from Ahern’s storytelling but also a seasoned production team that includes Nicole Kidman, Bruna Papandrea, and Steve Hutensky. Read on for more info on the exciting new project, and a look at the people who are championing its creation.
One producer in particular who is catching attention with this announcement is industry vet Steve Hutensky. Along with an extensive team of executive producers, he will work to adapt the novel from a literary format to the small screen. That effort will draw from a career that has seen him in a variety of roles, one of particular note being his time as the head of business affairs for Relativity Media based out of Los Angeles. In that role he not only oversaw all business actions of the company’s daily operations but also the legal aspects as well. These responsibilities included a focus on development, production, financing, acquisitions, and distribution.
Before his time at Relativity, he worked as an independent film producer. During that time he formed and operated Walk The Walk Entertainment, then based out of New York City. Steve still runs that company today and additionally engages in productions with other film and television companies. In addition to his professional experience in the industry, he has a firm academic background in business and legal affairs. He attended Dartmouth College for his bachelors degree and later New York University for law school.
This latest project to adapt “Roar” is getting a push from a talented group effort to get the series off the ground. Executive producer Nicole Kidman not only has a long and well-known career in a wide range of films, but has found plenty of television success as well. A notable recent example being her starring role on “Big Little Lies,” a series which she also produces. In addition to that show, Kidman is developing a range of other projects for television including “The Female Persuasion,” “Truly Madly Guilty,” and “The Expatriates.”
Bruna Papandrea, who teamed with Kidman on “Big Little Lies,” will also be executive producing on the project through her production company, Made Up Stories. Showrunners will be Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who are the co-creators and showrunners of “GLOW,” which is now heading into its third season.
With such a seasoned team behind this new series, expectations are high. Both “GLOW” and “Big Little Lies” have won big at the Emmys and both have seen viewership levels that brought them renewals for their latest seasons. This auspicious start to the project does not escape the author of the book, who states she is “Incredibly honored to be working with this phenomenal team in bringing ‘Roar’ from the page to the screen.”
In its literary form, “Roar” is a series of tales focusing on absurd contradiction. The book features thirty different stories which each focus on a woman in the midst of exploring a different issue in her life. Some of the stories are humorous in nature, though they are still rooted in the emotional context of the narrative. The tales, which have been characterized as deeply moving, take a look at a range of emotions, including humiliation, joy, triumph, and guilt, that often define the experience of the modern woman. Many of the tales include private moments where a woman might feel “the need to roar.”
The book has already been featured on the author’s website and a variety of social media outlets. It is slated to be published in the UK this November by HarperCollins UK. It will be released by Grand Central Publishing in the U.S. in April of 2019. When discussing the book’s transition from the written word to television, Ahern highlighted the personal nature of the characters in her novel. “The women in this collection have lived and breathed with me for so very long,” she said. “I’m excited to begin the next journey of amplifying their voices.”
Along with the television projects produced by others on the team bringing the novel to the screen, Steve Hutensky has a range of film projects to his name that will serve to provide a unique perspective as the series moves forward. On the documentary front he is known for his work producing the film “Wake Up.” The acclaimed spiritual documentary follows the journey of a man who suddenly came upon the ability to see a range of occult phenomena including angels, demons, auras, and the deceased. The film toured widely around the country and was used to anchor the premiere episode of “Super Soul Sunday” on Oprah Winfrey’s television network.
In addition, he has also produced films across a variety of genres including the recent science fiction thriller, “2:22.” That film, released in June of 2017, centers on the story of an air traffic controller who experiences an unexplainable occurrence which helps to divert a potentially deadly collision while also introducing him to a mysterious love interest. This project, as well as others in his production history, will help to inform the approach he takes moving forward on this latest television endeavor.
With the buzz created by both the Emmy success and high viewership of shows like “GLOW” and “Big Little Lies,” this latest series announcement is making waves across the industry. As the loyal audience of readers and filmgoers that Ahern’s novels command hear of the news, expectations are already up. That sense of anticipation, coupled with the announcements of veteran executive producers such as Nicole Kidman, Bruna Papandrea, and Steve Hutensky, spells good things in the future for the upcoming adaptation of “Roar.”
More about Steve Hutensky at http://dartmouthentertainment.org/bio/steve-hutensky