With Boardwalk Empire drawing to a close, HBO and Martin Scorsese are actively looking for other series they can do about people being miserable in other historical periods. And so, along with its 1970s music industry drama starring Bobby Cannavale, the network is developing Ashecliffe, a semi-prequel to Scorsese’s 2010 thriller Shutter Island that could join other newParamount movie-to-TV titles like Ghost, The Truman Show, and Narc.
Adapted from his own novel by Dennis Lehane (who also served on the Boardwalk Empire writing staff), Ashecliffe will cover the early 20th-century establishment of the titular mental hospital and the events leading up to the film, focusing on the “secrets and misdeeds” perpetrated by its founders as they develop their unconventional methods for dealing with the mentally ill—possibly explaining, for example, why an entire hospital full of unstable variables would [spoiler alert, we guess] construct an elaborate detective roleplaying game for one of its patients. Scorsese is set to direct the pilot for this as well, provided he doesn’t first get his hands on a good script about hippies bumming out in the ’60s.
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