Kate Winslet will Star in HBO Miniseries adaptation of MILDRED PIERCE

After half a year of speculation, HBO will officially be moving forward with their five-hour miniseries based on the James M. Cain novel, Mildred Pierce, and have tapped Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic) to star.

Winslet, will be taking on the lead role of a proud, single mother struggling to earn her daughter's love during the Depression in middle-class Los Angeles. The role won Joan Crawford an Oscar in the 1945 Michael Curtiz-directed feature adaptation of the novel, that earned 6 nominations that year.

Todd Haynes (I'm Not There, Far From Heaven) and Jon Raymond (Wendy and Lucy) will adapt Mildred for the screen. Haynes will also direct and executive produce alongside Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon and John Wells. Sopranos producer Ilene Landress will produce in association with MGM.

No word on any other casting, but shooting is set to begin in April in New York.

I really wish more books would be adapted this way. As good as the 1945 version was, there's just no proper way to fit what is entailed in most novels into a two-hour movie without sacrificing plot lines and character development (at least in comparison to the book). The miniseries is obviously a much cheaper solution to splitting up one book into two feature films, which only works economically for a studio if it's a successful franchise -- i.e. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Hobbit, and the last Twilight's Breaking Dawn.

What do you think of HBO's plans for MILDRED PIERCE?