Dangerous Liaisons Series Adaptation Ordered at Starz — But There's a Twist

Dangerous Liaisons TV Series

Break out the powdered wigs and hoop skirts, because Starz is headed back to the 18th century.

The premium cabler has ordered to series Dangerous Liaisons, an adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ novel, TVLine has learned.

Originally published in 1782, Dangerous Liaisons tells the story of Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals and ex-lovers who use seduction as a tool to manipulate others. Starz’s series, however, will serve as a prequel, telling the origin story of Merteuil and Valmont when they meet as passionate young lovers in the slums of 18th century Paris.

The project will be told from Merteuil’s perspective and is described as a “thrilling, sexy and provocative” version of the story, adapted “for a 21st century audience.” Harriet Warner (The Alienist, Call the Midwife) will write and executive-produce the eight-episode season, and she’ll also serve as showrunner. A premiere date has not yet been announced.

Dangerous Liaisons was previously turned into an Oscar-winning 1988 film (pictured above), which starred Glenn Close as Merteuil and John Malkovich as Valmont.

Starz has also ordered the true-crime docuseries Leavenworth, which counts Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh among its executive producers. The project tells the story of Clint Lorance, a former Army lieutenant serving a 19-year sentence for murder after he ordered fire on three men during his deployment in Afghanistan. As Lorance seeks to overturn his conviction, Leavenworth will “analyze the system at large and ultimately test the balance of guilt and innocence in the inscrutable circumstances of today’s wars,” per the official description.

Leavenworth will premiere on Sunday, Oct. 20.

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