Though a third season of the hit HBO series Big Little Lies is far from guaranteed, the next best thing has arrived. A limited series based on BLL author Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers is headed to Hulu. It reunites BLL star Nicole Kidman with the show's creator, David E. Kelley. Below, everything to know about the new show, which also stars Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, and Manny Jacinto in his first show since The Good Place.
The show is based off a book by Liane Moriarty.
The source material for the series, which was confirmed by THR in May 2019, is the 2018 novel of the same name by Moriarty. Nine Perfect Strangers, the author's eighth adult novel, is set at a wellness retreat. In an interview with The Guardian, Moriarty said she was inspired by "this desire we all have for transformation." She continued, "I can never see an article that says, ‘Just change this one thing about your life and you’ll be transformed forever’—even though you know when you click on it, it won’t work, I find it irresistible.”
An official logline for the Hulu adaptation, via Variety, reads:
"It takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this ten-day retreat is the resort’s director Masha (Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine 'perfect' strangers have no idea what is about to hit them."
There is an all-star cast and creative team involved.
Kidman was attached to the show from the start, having acquired rights to the book prior to its release in July 2018, per The Hollywood Reporter. The Oscar winner will star in and produce the series alongside executive producer Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies, Gone Girl). Kelley will serve as showrunner with John Henry Butterworth (Ford v Ferrari).Kelley and Butterworth will write the series along with Samantha Strauss (The End).
In January 2020, Deadline reported that Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy would star in and executive produce the series. She'll play Frances, one of the "nine perfect strangers." TVLine describes the character in the novel as "a down-on-her-luck romance novelist whose publisher has rejected her latest manuscript."
On May 27, Deadline reported that Manny Jacinto would return to TV following his four-season run as Jason Mendoza on NBC's The Good Place. He'll play Yao, who is described as "a bright-eyed man-kid with a hipster vibe." After undergoing a life and death experience with Kidman's character, Yao becomes her right hand at Tranquillum (the wellness resort). The outlet notes that Yao is "deeply committed" to the unorthodox techniques of the resort and "entirely in (Masha's) thrall."
Late June brought the casting of Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast, The Alienist) as another of the nine titular strangers. Per Deadline, he'll play Lars, whose described as a "gorgeous gay divorce lawyer" in a 2018 review of Moriarty's novel from USA Today.
No release date has been announced.
There's no confirmation about a release date for the series, or if the episodes will drop weekly or all at once. However, Deadline reports that Nine Perfect Strangers will debut in 2021 in order "to accommodate its talent’s schedules." Kidman's upcoming projects include roles in the HBO limited series The Undoing and a big screen adaptation of the musical The Prom. Meanwhile, McCarthy is set to star in the 2020 action-comedy Superintelligence and as Ursula in a live-action The Little Mermaid. And Jacinto's next onscreen appearance will be alongside Tom Cruise in the Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel to the 1986 film.