How do you adapt an 800-page novel for TV?

How did the novel The Luminaries become a Starz TV series? It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. But being difficult isn’t the same as being impossible, and after “seven years, 300 drafts and plenty of crying, here it is.”

Author Eleanor Catton, left, and director Claire McCarthy on the set of “The Luminaries.”

by Meredith Blake

“The Luminaries” seemed to have everything Hollywood wants in a book.

A commercial and critical hit when it was published in 2013, Eleanor Catton’s immersive novel was set on the rugged southwest coast of New Zealand during its 1860s gold rush. A tale of fate and fortune on the antipodean frontier, it had all the makings of a great screen adventure: rowdy saloons and smoke-filled opium dens, devious blackmail schemes and treacherous ocean voyages, ruthless villains and star-crossed lovers. read article