Netflix picks up series based on Tom Wolfe’s Atlanta-focused 1998 novel ‘A Man in Full’

Regina King will be an executive producer for a Netflix series "Man in Full" based on the 2008 Tom Wolfe best-selling novel.
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Regina King will be an executive producer for a Netflix series "Man in Full" based on the 2008 Tom Wolfe best-selling novel.

Credit: Associated Press

Credit: Associated Press

Regina King, David E. Kelley are executive producers

Netflix has picked up six episodes of a drama based on the bestselling 1998 Tom Wolfe fiction opus “A Man in Full” about an Atlanta real estate mogul’s fall from grace.

Executive producers Regina King (”One Night in Miami”) and David E. Kelley (”Ally McBeal,” “The Practice,” “Nine Perfect Strangers”) are overseeing the project.

“All I can say is when David E. Kelley calls, you just say yes,” King said in story broken by Variety. “I know this partnership will produce something special.”

King previously worked on an FX project about the Atlanta child murders that never made it to fruition.

Soon after the book’s release, there were talks in 1999 to create an NBC miniseries based on “A Man in Full.” That project died on the vine.

Wolfe, who died in 2018, made a name for himself with a raft of bestsellers, including 1979′s historical nonfiction book “The Right Stuff” about the Mercury Seven astronauts and his fictional 1987 Wall Street satire, “The Bonfire of the Vanities.” His style of journalism featured a broad array of literary techniques and he used his journalistic observational style to populate his fictional work as well.

ExploreTom Wolfe’s ‘A Man in Full’ had Atlanta pegged

“A Man in Full,” which took 11 years for Wolfe to complete, was covered extensively by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time it came out, including a tongue-in-cheek daily “Wolfe Watch” feature. Sample headline: “Status-tician Tom Wolfe tosses Atlanta into the pop culture mill.” The man wore his signature white suit during a November day of whirlwind promotional appearances in Atlanta covered by five AJC reporters.

He even addressed the AJC’s obsession by saying, “You’ve made my career, and my life. I hope you don’t stop ‘Wolfe Watch’ for the small reason that I’m leaving town.”

Over more than 700 sprawling pages, “A Man in Full” chronicles race and class conflicts in a rising Atlanta. The centerpiece character is real estate investor and former Georgia Tech football player Charles Croker, who is grappling with bankruptcy and multiple forces trying to take him down.

The book features exurban mega mansions, the elite Piedmont Driving Club, Freaknik, burgeoning immigrant neighborhood Chamblee, South Georgia quail plantations and Greek philosopher Epictetus. There are ambitious Black politicians, avaricious developers and coldhearted investment bankers.

The book was a finalist for the National Book Award, spent 10 weeks at the top of The New York Times bestseller list and received mostly solid reviews.

Since the book is set in Atlanta, the series will likely shoot in metro Atlanta as well, with the added benefit of the state’s generous tax credits for movie and TV producers. Netflix shoots plenty of shows in Atlanta, including “Sweet Magnolias,” “Ozark” and “Stranger Things.”

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