Michigan: Midwest Hollywood

It may be a state with an economy beleaguered from the deterioration of the US car industry, but Michigan could be bouncing back financially as the new Midwest Hollywood. Offering the much-coveted tax incentives, various film and TV productions already have several high-profile projects filming there, including HBO’s newest comedy Hung. News now breaks that HBO and exec producer Mrs. Tom Hanks (aka Rita Wilson) have optioned the rights to Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and Oprah Book Club selection, “Middlesex” for a one-hour series.

MiddlesexSet in Detroit and its surrounding suburbs, “Middlesex” deals with genetics, gender identity and family politics. Beginning in the early 1960s Detroit male Cal Stephanides is born and raised — due to misidentification by the doctors and a family secret — as the female Callie. The novel tells the story of a family and the secret it carried from Greece to America in the 1920s. It sweeps through the early days of Ford, the 1967 civil rights riots and the elegant Grosse Pointe suburbs following Cal/Callie’s intellectual journey as he/she learns the truth.

Eugenides’ debut novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” was made into a feature helmed by Sophia Coppola and starred Kirsten Dunst.

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