Given that he’s most famous for A) working on Lost, a TV show that frustrated almost as much as it entertained viewers with its mysteries and B) co-writing Prometheus a film that… you get the idea - you might think that Damon Lindelof would choose something a little less twisty and mysterious for his big return to TV. But this is why you are not Damon Lindelof: he’s instead plumped to adapt Tom Perrotta’s 2011 book The Leftovers for HBO.
It’s nothing to do with recycled food; Perotta’s tome posits a world three years after the Rapture happens, but not quite as predicted. While some people have indeed been taken up as prophesised in the Bible, many more than originally believed are left behind, and they’re trying to work out both what happened, and how to make it in a very different world.
Lindelof and Perrotta will co-write the pilot script and serve as executive producers if HBO picks up the series, working alongside producers Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger.
Talking with Vulture, Lindelof explained that he jumped at the chance to turn the book into something more after seeing Stephen King rave about it in The New York Times Book Review. "I got about a paragraph into it and immediately Amazon'd the book," he says. "And when I got the book, I fell deeply and passionately in love with it. I think that even from the moment I read the logline for the book, it was something I wanted to be vicariously a part of as opposed to just enjoying it as a consumer."
Perrotta is no stranger to seeing his work adapted for the screen – both his novels Election and Little Children have been turned into very good movies. Now it remains to be seen whether Leftovers follows suit on the goggle box.