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Patti Smith's Just Kids To Become TV Show
Karl Smith , August 12th, 2015 07:43

The artist's prize-winning memoir of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and other figures of the 60s and 70s — both peripheral and central — has been picked up by Showtime for a limited series

Like the late Richard Attenborough's John Hammond of the original Jurassic Park film, in 2015 — the year of the confirmed Jumanji remake — for TV and studio executives nothing is really history; nothing is sacred. Everything is ripe for extraction and genetic reconstruction. Sometimes with spectacular results, more often than not a little less than the sum of its parts, unable to walk in a straight line. (See HBO's Hannibal for a strong lesson in the former.)

So, because life, uh, uh, finds a way, Patti Smith's 2010 memoir Just Kids — which details her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and the intertwining of their lives with characters emblematic of the of the 60s and 70s, from William Burroughs to Janis Joplin — has been commissioned by Showtime for a limited TV series.

For anyone worried about the corruption of a much-loved, National Book Award-winning and extremely intimate autobiography, there is large-scale reassurance: ever the auteur, Smith will be co-writing and co-producing the series. For fans less worried about misrepresentation of the source material and more interested in Good TV, the other 'co' is John Logan — creator of Penny Dreadful.

Putting frantic minds further at ease, in a statement following the announcement, Smith explains how "A limited series on Showtime will allow us to explore the characters more deeply, enabling us to develop stories beyond the book and allow a measure of unorthodox presentation," elaborating that "The medium of a television limited series offers narrative freedom and a chance to expand upon the themes of the book."

While no firm date for the adaptation has been announced as yet, M Train — a sequel to Just Kids — is being released in October, published in the UK by Bloomsbury.

Follow @karlthomassmith on Twitter.

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