I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

ITV is adapting acclaimed novel I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness for a new TV series

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ITV is set to adapt Claire Vaye Watkins’s acclaimed novel I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness into a brand new TV series. Here’s everything we know so far.

Look at the slate of starry TV shows and films in the pipeline right now and you’ll find one overarching theme: many of them are inspired by the written page. From literary classics such as East Of Eden and Persuasion to modern bestsellers The Tattooist Of Auschwitz and Where The Crawdads Sing, there’s no shortage of brilliant adaptations bringing the stories on our bookshelves to life in a whole new way.

Hot on the heels of the BBC’s recent small screen hits Conversations With Friends and Everything I Know About Love, bookworms can look forward to a brand new adaptation from ITV which looks set to make us laugh and cry in equal measure.

Released in October 2021, Claire Vaye Watkins’s acclaimed novel I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness has just been picked up by Tomorrow Studios, an ITV Studios partnership, for a brand new TV series.

The novel, which was named among the best books of the year by the likes of Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, The Washington Post and NPR, follows a writer and new mother who abruptly abandons her husband, newborn and her “house-proud resource-hoarding” life in Michigan in an attempt to make sense of the depression and chaos of her existence.

Billed as a “darkly funny, soul-rending novel of love in an epoch of collapse”, the novel won praise for its nuanced exploration of family, marriage, work, sex and motherhood. In the book, the narrator, who also happens to be called Claire Vaye Watkins, struggles to reconcile all her different identities as she journeys into her past: think unfinished business in hometowns, getting high with old friends, navigating tricky parental relationships, pining after an ex-boyfriend, all the promiscuity. Essentially, it’s a novel about all the messy parts of womanhood. Take a look at the synopsis:

I love you but I've chosen darkness
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

“Leaving behind her husband and their baby daughter, a writer gets on a flight for a speaking engagement in Reno, not carrying much besides a breast pump and a spiraling case of postpartum depression. Her temporary escape from domestic duties and an opportunity to reconnect with old friends mutates into an extended romp away from the confines of marriage and motherhood, and a seemingly bottomless descent into the past. 

“Deep in the Mojave Desert where she grew up, she meets her ghosts at every turn: the first love whose self-destruction still haunts her; her father, a member of the most famous cult in American history; her mother, whose native spark gutters with every passing year. She can’t go back in time to make any of it right, but what exactly is her way forward? Alone in the wilderness, at last she begins to make herself at home in the world.”

The new series has attracted some serious talent behind the camera too in the form of Emmy Award-winning director Stephanie Laing (Physical, Made For Love, Family Squares) and acclaimed screenwriter and author Alissa Nutting (Made For Love, Teenage Euthanasia).

“We love working with Stephanie on Physical because of her incredible talent for showcasing complex stories of female empowerment in a way that resonates with a global audience,” said Tomorrow Studios CEO Marty Adelstein and president Becky Clements.

“We’re excited to work with her and prolific writer Alissa to bring Claire’s powerful work to television, and we are proud to have a strong team of women spearheading this incredible project”.

While there’s no word on the cast or release date just yet, it’ll be intriguing to see who takes on the role of the protagonist in this powerfully original story. Something tell us that this series will shake up the TV landscape for good.

Images: Getty; Riverhead Books

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.