Jean-Marc Vallée has signed on to direct Gorilla And The Bird, his third limited series for HBO.
Based on Sack Dermot’s 2017 book Gorilla And The Bird: A Memoir Of Madness And A Mother’s Love, the series will be co-produced by HBO and Big Beach TV, producer of Starz series Vida and Facebook Watch series Sorry For Your Loss.
Bryan Sipe, writer of Vallée’s 2015 feature Demolition, will write the series and serve as showrunner and executive producer. Channing Tatum’s company Free Association is also an executive producer.
The story centres on a US attorney and public defender with the Legal Aid Society of New York whose bi-polar illness caused delusions and antisocial behavior, leading to his eventual arrest and commitment to Bellevue Hospital. The memoir relates how the protagonist – ‘the Gorilla’ – struggled to regain his sanity with the help of the unconditional love of his mother, ‘the Bird’.
After his success with features including Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, Vallée has worked with premium US cable outlet HBO as director of two previous limited series, 2017’s Emmy-winning Big Little Lies, for which he won a Directors Guild of America award and an Emmy, and 2018’s Sharp Objects, just nominated for three Golden Globes. Vallée is an executive producer of the upcoming second season of Big Little Lies, which shot earlier this year with Andrea Arnold directing.
On Gorilla And The Bird, Vallée and Nathan Ross will serve as executive producers for their Crazyrose company alongside Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan for Free Association, and Robin Schwartz, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf for Big Beach. Zack McDermott is co-executive producer.