Armistead Maupin began writing Tales of the City as a regular column for a San Francisco newspaper in the late Seventies. His amusing and sometimes poignant vignettes of life in California’s gay hub as well as his cast of quirky and loveable characters earned him a huge following, so much so that the stories were compiled and rewritten as novels. Tales of the City was followed by More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, and Sure of You, which have become international bestsellers published in eleven languages. The book series has long been hailed as a cultural touchstone for the gay community, with the novels being among the first to address the AIDS crisis. The stories struck a chord with gay readers and it was only a matter of time for the tales be adapted for television. Three Tales of the City limited series starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis have been filmed. Now a new 10-part Netflix original limited series of more of Maupin’s tales is in production and will be aired in 2019.
Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis will reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal. Ellen Page will join the series as Shawna, Mary Ann’s daughter.
Based on the books by Maupin, the new instalment follows Mary Ann, who returns to San Francisco twenty years after abandoning her daughter and ex-husband Brian, to pursue her career. But a midlife crisis in her picture perfect Connecticut life prompts Mary Ann to return to her chosen family and she is soon drawn back into the orbit of the mysterious Anna Madrigal and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane.
Maupin says: “I couldn’t be more excited about this new brand-new incarnation of Tales. It’s set in present-day San Francisco with all the joys and complications that it might suggest for the residents of 28 Barbary Lane. Mrs Madrigal’s tenants, both old and new, will be entangled in delicious new adventures and ever-expanding possibilities for love.”
The series’ writer Lauren Morelli says: “The magical, vivid world that Armistead Maupin built in Tales of the City is one that offered so many— particularly the LGBTQ+ community— a home for the first time. For many, Tales was the first time they saw themselves on screen. I am humbled to now find my own home within Tales and to continue telling Armistead’s stories.”
Something definitely to watch out for in the New Year!