Matthew Broderick is an easy-to-recognize actor who has been in the industry for more than 30 years, so it’s hard to believe he’s never starred in a television series. That’s soon to change, as he’s tapped to co-star with film legend Shirley MacLaine in the new dramedy Bettyville, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The actors will play mother and son in the adaptation of George Hodgman’s memoir. Given the New York Times assessment of the book in a March 2015 article on Hodgman, it’s hard not to picture Broderick and MacLaine in the starring roles as the New York book editor who returns home to care for his widowed parent living with dementia.
“Rarely has the subject of elder care produced such droll human comedy, or a heroine quite on the mettlesome order of Betty Baker Hodgman.
“For as much as the book works on several levels (as a meditation on belonging, as a story of growing up gay and the psychic cost of silence, as metaphor for recovery), it is the strong-willed Betty who shines through. She may be trapped in midstage dementia, but her stout sense of self never wavers.”
Hodgman returned back to his hometown of Paris, Missouri, after losing a publishing job in 2011. He wrote the memoir in the wee hours of the morning before his mother arose each day. Although he has a background as an editor, it is Hodgman’s first book. Viking backed the work with a book tour, in part taking advantage of the recent interest in memoirs.
— Time Out New York (@TimeOutNewYork) May 4, 2016
The television version of Bettyville will be written and executive produced by John Hoffman, who is also behind the Netflix series Grace and Frankie starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Deadline reported that Hodgman will also act as an executive producer. Paramount Television is producing the series, which does not yet have a network or streaming service attached to it for broadcast.
Shirley MacLaine. pic.twitter.com/o8mQk1FDxQ
— Noirish Project (@NoirishProject) May 2, 2016
Shirley MacLaine is no stranger to the memoir genre in her own life. The 82-year-old has written numerous books about her life experiences, including the recently released Above the Line, about her adventures filming the as-yet-unreleased movie Wild Oats. Despite the chaotic production, MacLaine wrote that she was drawn to the film because it shot in the Canary Islands, thought by some to be the location of the lost city of Atlantis.
MacLaine’s recent television work has included stints on Glee and Downton Abbey. On the big screen, she starred in a 2011 comedy by Boyhood writer-director Richard Linklater, Bernie, and 2014’s Elsa and Fred with Christopher Plummer. She also continues to do speaking tours to discuss her life and her books.
Apart from Ferris Bueller, can we all just appreciate how attractive Matthew Broderick is in Wargames. pic.twitter.com/04BvgxLB5U
— Sly (@kirajairi) May 5, 2016
Broderick, although he’s best known for his work in film and theater, has done some notable guest spots on the small screen. He played Phil Dunphy’s would-be date in a 2012 episode of Modern Family and starred as himself on an episode of The Jim Gaffigan Show. Broderick is a popular choice for Broadway producers, where he’s known in particular for his performances opposite stage actor Nathan Lane. Broderick will return to the stage later this month for a stint in the play Shining City at the Irish Repertory Theatre on West 22nd street in New York.
Bettyville will film in Santa Fe, New Mexico. MacLaine has long lived in New Mexico and bides her time between there and California.
[Photo by D Dipasupil/Cindy Ord/Getty Images]