Renée Zellweger to Lead Series Adaptation of James Patterson, Mike Lupica Novel ’12 Months to Live’ in Development at Max

Renée Zellweger is attached to star in a series adaptation of the novel “12 Months to Live” that is currently in development at Max, Variety has learned.

The project is currently titled “Jane Smith,” named after the novel’s main character, whom Zellweger will play. The book was written by James Patterson and Mike Lupica, with Miki Johnson set to adapt it for the screen and serve as showrunner. The novel was originally published in September 2023, with the second novel in the series, “Hard to Kill,” due out on July 29.

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The official description for the series states that it “centers on a brilliant, tough, and darkly funny defense attorney in the Hamptons. Up to this point, Jane has only cared about winning; however, her world is completely turned upside down when, on the eve of the biggest case of her career, she is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. While the investigation becomes more dangerous and deeply personal, Jane refuses to let her death sentence stop her from solving this case.”

Johnson is an executive producer on the series in addition to writing and showrunning. Zellweger will executive produce along with Carmela Casinelli under their Big Picture Co. banner. Patterson will executive produce along with Bill Robinson and Patrick Santa for James Patterson Entertainment. David E. Kelley executive produces with Matthew Tinker and Checka Propper of David E. Kelley Productions. David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Matt Thunell executive produce for Skydance Television. The series is produced by Skydance TV and MGM Television. · Big Picture Co. is currently under first-look deal with MGM Television.

“Jane Smith” falls under Skydance TV’s deal with Patterson under which they are developing a slate of series based on his books. Up next under the deal, Amazon will debut the series “Cross” starring Aldis Hodge, based on Patterson’s Alex Cross novels, on Prime Video beginning Nov. 14. Skydance also produces book-to-series adaptations like “Reacher,” “Foundation,” and “Jack Ryan.”

Zellweger is a two-time Academy Award winner — one for best supporting actress for “Cold Mountain” and another for best actress for “Judy.” She was also nominated for her roles in both “Chicago” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” She is also a four-time Golden Globe winner for “Cold Mountain,” “Chicago,” “Nurse Betty,” and “Judy.” She made her series regular television debut with the Netflix series “What/If” and recently starred in the true crime limited series “The Thing About Pam” at NBC.

She is repped by CAA, John Carrabino Management, and imPRint.

Johnson recently collaborated with Kelley on the Apple TV+ series “Presumed Innocent.” Kelley developed the series for television, with Johnson serving as a co-executive producer. Her other credits include “Ozark,” “Hell on Wheels,” and “Ray Donovan.” She is repped by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

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