Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ Being Adapted as Series for Hulu

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Ralph Ellison’s novel has been included in high schools curriculums. (David Attie/Getty Images/Random House)

The monumental novel, “Invisible Man,” is getting the series treatment on Hulu. Ralph Ellison’s 1952 book is in the early stages of development, according to Variety.

The streaming service acquired the rights to the story earlier this year, which details how being a Black man in America made him invisible. Ellison passed away in 1994, leaving the rights to the book to the Ralph and Fanny Ellison Charitable Trust. John F. Callahan is the literary executor of the estate and he will executive produce the series.

While there are currently no other details about the series, Hulu senior VP of content Craig Erwich told Variety about how another novel adaptation, Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” reflects Hulu’s strategy for original programming.


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“We’re looking to tell intimate character stories against large worlds and large canvases that have really strong, resonant, and permanent dramatic underpinnings,” he told the industry publication in September.

As for Callahan’s role in the show, he had been chosen as the executor by Ellison’s wife, Franny, ahead of her death in 2005, according to Oregon Live. Callahan, a professor at Lewis & Clark College, had befriended Ellison. After the writer’s death, Callahan began editing lots of Ellison’s material, including “Juneteenth,” his posthumously published second novel.

However, it’s Ellison’s first novel “Invisible Man”, which was published when he was an unknown, that endures. Containing commentary on blackness in the 20th century, it’s regularly used in high school curriculums. It won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953 and was included on Time magazine’s list of 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

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