Richard Ford’s “The Sportswriter” trilogy to HBO

This is kind of neat. HBO has scored a deal to produce a six-hour miniseries based on the three books by Richard Ford about the life of New Jersey sportswriter Frank Bascombe. “The Sportwriter,” the Pulitzer-winning “Independence Day” and the latest “The Lay of the Land” will all be adapted.

Given the success HBO had with Richard Russo’s “Empire Falls” this has a great shot at being something special. The entire story arc of Frank Bascombe is fascinating following an oridnary man from Vietnam, through the death of his son, and 9/11. But what’s got our attention is that underrated James Mangold (Cop Land, Girl, Interrupted, Walk the Line) will direct all six episodes. He just wrapped production on western 3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.Little bit of trivia for ya: “Independence Day” was the first book to win both the Pulitzer and the Pen/Faulkner awards. So yeah, it’s a pretty darn good book.

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