News regarding HBO's developing drama pilot The Corrections is both sparse and invigorating. The small, somewhat perplexing synopsis hints at a series with a lot of character, and a lot of heart (though likely, a lot of sadness). The newest piece of information about The Corrections pilot furthers our optimism: Ewan McGregor has been cast as one of the lead roles.
The story centers on an aging Midwestern couple, nearing the winter of their lives as the year 2000 approaches rapidly. The couple, who will be played by Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest (as it was announced last month) vow to organize "one last Christmas" to be celebrated with their three estranged children. McGregor will play the couple's middle child, Chip, with a sordid personal and professional life. Chip, a radical Marxist, worked in education before losing his job as a result of his illicit affair with one of his students. When the pilot opens, Chip will work for a Lithuanian crime ring that operates by defrauding business investors in the United States.
The pilot is based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Jonathan Franzen. In the novel, the two older children (yet to be cast) are Gary, the oldest, an unhappy, alcoholic banker who resents the hold his wife and children have on him, and Denise, the youngest and only daughter, a bisexual chef who loses her job due to a messy romance involving both her boss and his wife.
Directing the pilot is Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale), who also co-wrote with Franzen, while Scott Rudin produces.