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Bret Easton Ellis
Very cool! Bret Easton EllisPhotograph Jeff Burton, via Wikimedia Commons

Luca Guadagnino to direct adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s The Shards

Ellis’s semi-autobiographical serial killer thriller is coming to HBO, with the author also onboard to write the script

In April, it was announced that HBO was working on a TV series adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s The Shards (2023), a semi-autobiographical thriller novel that originally came to life as a series of chilling podcast episodes. Now, we have more good news: none other than Luca Guadagnino is on board to direct, following his previous collaboration with HBO on the Chloë Sevigny-starring We Are Who We Are.

Revealed by Ellis in an interview with the Spanish publication El Independiente, the collaboration will reportedly feature scripts by the author himself, with Guadagnino directing an unspecified number of episodes. Ellis also hasn’t ruled out taking a turn in the director’s chair, saying he also currently has a film in production.

Joining the American Psycho author in writing and producing The Shards will be previously-announced names including Nick Young (The White Lotus, Looking, We Are Who We Are) and Brian Young (Vox Lux). 

In case you’re not caught up, the story itself walks a fine line between horror, noir, and autobiography, taking place in and around a prestigious prep school in 80s LA, which Ellis really attended. The line between truth and fiction is blurred with the introduction of a serial killer who stalks the young writer and his friends, who are tangled up in their own web of love affairs, drug deals, and underground parties. The TV adaptation will also apparently include new subplots, not featured in the book.

For Guadagnino, plans to direct The Shards will only add to a busy schedule. In August, Venice Film Festival is set to open with the world premiere of his Zendaya-starring tennis romance Challengers, and production recently wrapped on his adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s Queer. Then, there’s his Scarface remake and Audrey Hepburn biopic, plus his take on Lord of the Flies and – God willing – that long-awaited sequel to 2017’s Call Me By Your Name.

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