patti smith’s cult memoir is about to become a cult tv series

The godmother of punk is co-writing a television script based on her autobiography “Just Kids.”

by Alice Newell-Hanson
Aug 11 2015, 8:27pm

Friendship, drugs, sexual ambiguity, mullets, New York in the 70s - Patti Smith's autobiography Just Kids is the ultimate punk coming of age story. So obviously every TV producer was angling to get at it.

Today, at a press briefing in LA, Showtime announced that it won the fight and will be adapting the memoir into a TV series with help from Patti herself. The studio locked down the rights to the book in 2011 (the year after its release) and screenwriter John Logan has been working on the script with Smith ever since.

Deadline reports that Smith was a fan of Logan's play about Mark Rothko, Red, and that she also enjoys his current TV series Penny Dreadful. Apparently the love runs both ways, too. David Nevins, the president of Showtime, said, "Just Kids is one of my favorite memoirs of all time [...] it's also an inspiring story of friendship, love and endurance."

Like Smith's book, which won the National Book Award in 2010, the series will focus on her evolving relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. More details, including an air date, are yet to come. But in the mean time we're free to think about dream casting. Ezra Miller for Robert Mapplethorpe. Patti…. maybe Kristen Stewart? And we'd love Patti's friend Ann Demeulemeester to do the costumes.


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Klaus Hiltscher via Flickr

Patti Smith
Robert Mapplethorpe