‘Single White Female’ Optioned for NBC TV Reboot

Revisiting a ’90s cult classic.

single white female nbc tv series

The 90s is making a comeback in the form of a cult classic.

The 1992 erotic thriller flick¬†Single White Female¬†has been selected for a “modern-day” television¬†reboot¬†via¬†NBC,¬†The¬†Hollywood Reporter reported Friday, December 16. The Barbet Schroeder-directed classic, based on author John Lutz‘s novel¬†SWF¬†Seeks Same, will receive the movie-to-TV treatment, but with a contemporary twist.

Unlike the film adaptation which is set in New York, NBC’s revival will take place in San Francisco and will feature “a soapy psychological thriller” undertone in which “the lines between good and evil are constantly blurred,”¬†THR¬†reported.

During late¬†2014, I went through a weird phase in my life when¬†I was suddenly¬†drawn into reading well-known¬†psychological fiction from the 90s and rearward. In October 2014, I tore through¬†Sylvia Plath‘s classic novel¬†The Bell Jar; a few months later I¬†finished¬†Susanna Kaysen‘s¬†Girl, Interrupted; and¬†then I¬†read¬†Single White Female¬†the following summer. I loved them all.

It’s going to be really interesting to see just how NBC will translate¬†Single White Female¬†on TV; I mean, I have no doubts that it will be brilliant. However, having read the book, I don’t see exactly how they will make it something watchable if it were a TV series. To be honest,¬†the book isn’t very sequential, so breaking it up into a series might pose a challenge because there’s not so much to work with.

Columbia Pictures

According to THR, however, the TV adaptation seems like it might stray away from the original plot of both the film and the book:

When erstwhile con-artist Hedra (played in the movie by Leigh) uses her professional connections to target Allie (portrayed by Fonda), a seemingly moneyed colleague in search of a roommate, Hedra slowly begins to realize that her mark may not be quite as innocuous as she first seems. Soon, viewers will come to understand that Hedra may have met her match in Allie, making viewers question who is really being “single white female‚Äôd.”

Here is what the original synopsis of the book looks like:

After a messy break-up, Allie Jones finds herself living alone in her New York City apartment, no one to share her bed with-and more urgently, no one to share her rent. The solution seems clear: she needs a roommate. And Hedra Carlson seems perfect-she’s shy, quiet…safe. But soon Hedra’s disturbing envy of Allie’s looks and social life becomes unsettling. She wears Allie’s clothes, even buys a wig in Allie’s color and style. Then the obscene phone calls begin, Allie’s credit cards vanish, and she discovers Hedra is living a dangerous double life . . . and far worse. For Hedra’s twisted admiration has no limits, the nightmare has just begun, and there will be a bloody price to pay.

One thing I can say about this series: It’s going to have to really live up to the gory grimness of the book. I can only vaguely remember the movie from my childhood, and I’ve yet to re-watch it, but the book itself was surprisingly macabre. Hedra is fucking crazier than I imagined her to be, so I really hope they play her up in the TV¬†series as the lunatic she really is.

Anyways, I’m interested in learning more about the developments of this one, so be on the lookout for more news about the¬†Single White Female TV¬†series¬†surfaces.

Check out Hedra and Allison circa Single White Female 1992


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Written by Paris Close

Paris Close

Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.