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Martin Scorsese could be directing a 'Shutter Island' TV series

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The stereotypical path of an adapted story used to be from book or TV show to film — the former gave us crowd-pleasing big-screen treatments of stories we loved, and the latter gave writers the space to tell a large chunk of an episodic story. These haven't gone away by any means, but as we talk about the "golden age of television," we've also started talking more and more about films (or books by way of famous films) that are being expanded upon in longer series. I just, for example, finished writing about a TV adaptation of The Omen, which will be airing next year on Lifetime. At San Diego Comic-Con, I wrote about an Evil Dead TV series. Now I'm writing about a TV adaptation of Shutter Island, a much more recent horror/thriller movie that's reportedly coming to HBO with a pilot directed by Martin Scorsese.

Deadline reports that HBO is currently "making deals" with Paramount for a series tentatively called Ashecliffe, the name of the film's mental hospital. Chronologically, the pilot will precede Shutter Island and will focus on the "secrets and misdeeds" of the founders. The core premise is really quite a lot like American Horror Story: Asylum, although if its tone is similar to the film it's likely to be less gleefully bizarre (and potentially less charming.) Scorsese will reportedly be working off a script from the novel's author, Dennis LaHane, for the pilot. It's not clear how strongly the film's events will affect the TV series, though it doesn't seem impossible that there will be some crossover.

Shutter Island could be a natural fit for a TV adaptation: like the rumored Shining prequel, it takes advantage of a backdrop that was teased but not fully explored in the original work. It's also, however, seemingly going to be dealing with a particularly tired topic that's been incredibly overused across almost all media — the "creepy asylum," which Scorsese will have to navigate carefully to bring something new to the table.