Martin Scorsese’s ‘Shutter Island’ Getting a Prequel TV Series on HBO

By August 25, 2014

Hot on the heels of Steven Spielberg developing his film Minority Report into a TV series, one of his iconic filmmaking friends is turning one of his own big screen properties into a TV series as well.

Deadline has word that “Boardwalk Empire” executive producer Martin Scorsese is reteaming with HBO for a TV series inspired by the 2010 psychological thriller Shutter Island. The series is tentatively called “Ashecliffe” and will actually take place before the events of the film, which was based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane.

If you don’t recall, Ashecliffe is the name of the mental hospital where the story unfolds, and the series will chronicle the history of the hospital that includes secrets and wrongdoings under the direction of the hospital’s founders, who built Ashecliffe in the early 20th century and developed questionable methods for dealing with the mentally ill.

Shutter Island

Just like “Boardwalk Empire,” Scorsese will direct the pilot for HBO and Paramount Television with the script coming from Dennis Lehane himself, co-writing with Tom Bernardo. The idea came from inside Paramount’s new television division when head honcho Amy Powell took it to Scorsese and Brad Fischer, a producer of the original movie who just so happens to be partners in Mythology Entertainment with Shutter Island screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis.

Paramount’s new TV arm seems hellbent on crafting new series from movies. They also have TV series adaptation in the works for The Truman Show and Narc, Patrick Swayze’s supernatural romance Ghost, and a kids series based on Richard Linkater’s School of Rock.

With Scorsese’s seal of approval and his position as director of the pilot, this series is bound to be a success, especially on a network like HBO. And while Leonardo DiCaprio won’t star in the series (after all, it takes place before his relationship with the hospital), he’s still producing through his Appian Way production banner along with Scorsese and Lehane. We’ll keep you posted as this project develops.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.