Liane Moriarty’s 2018 novel ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is following in the footsteps of her 2014 bestseller ‘Big Little Lies’, a literary sensation turned critically acclaimed TV series. Before the Australian author’s newest book had even reached library stands, production companies Blossom Films and Made Up Stories swooped in to secure a TV adaptation, eager to once again bring Moriarty’s words to life on the small screen.
The limited series, co-written by David E. Kelley, John-Henry Butterworth, and Samantha Strauss, is set to premiere on the streaming platform Hulu in 2021. Just as she did for Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman will both star in and executively produce the show, joining forces with producing partners Per Saari and Bruna Papandrea.
Kidman will play Masha, an enigmatic Russian woman who runs the Tranquillum House, a remote health-and-wellness sanctuary where nine perfect strangers are attending an expensive 10-day “Mind and Body Total Transformation Retreat”. Moriarty told Entertainment Weekly that Masha’s character was inspired by a TripAdvisor Review, in which guests at a resort complained about the lunatic behaviour exhibited by their host.
The nine attendees, coming from drastically different walks of life, have all checked in the mindfulness retreat to find respite and healing from their overwhelming daily lives in the city. Little by little, they realise that something is not quite right about the place and the people that are running it.
Melissa McCarthy was cast earlier this year as Frances, a broken-hearted romance novelist intrigued by her fellow guests and particularly captivated by the mysterious Masha. In May, Manny Jacinto was announced in the role of Yao, an employee of the retreat.
Luke Evans, known for his roles in Clash of the Titans (2010), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), and more recently The Alienist (2018), is the newest addition to the cast. The Welsh actor will play Lars, a gay divorce lawyer and one of the nine city-dwellers seeking quietude at the upscale resort.
There are eight more main roles to fill: seven other guests to join Lars and Frances at the high-end retreat, as well as Delilah, Masha’s second employee. Set to debut on Hulu next year, the series will undoubtedly be compared to Big Little Lies and therefore has some rather large, Emmy-winning shoes to fill.
Words by Chloé Meley