Hulu is no stranger to book-to-TV adaptations, especially after finding hits in Little Fires Everywhere, Tell Me Lies, and the Sally Rooney-verse (a.k.a. Normal People and Conversations with Friends). This year, even more adapted titles are headed to the streamer, including Saint X, based on Alexis Schaitkin’s 2020 bestseller.
Like its source material, the upcoming series follows a young woman’s mysterious death during a family vacation in the Caribbean, and her younger sister’s obsessive search for answers years later. The psychological drama is told through multiple timelines and perspectives, aiming to turn the typical girl-gone-missing genre on its head.
The novel works in a similar way, exploring race and privilege within a story that could’ve been easily written off as another Missing White Girl narrative. As author Oyinkan Braithwaite writes in her review for the New York Times, “Saint X is hypnotic, delivering acute social commentary on everything from class and race to familial bonds and community, and yet its weblike nature never confuses, or fails to captivate.”
The series Saint X is written by Leila Gerstein (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mrs. America, Hart of Dixie), who also serves as showrunner and executive producer. Mudbound and Pariah filmmaker Dee Rees is directing and executive producing as well.
“From the moment I finished reading Alexis Schaitkin’s wonderful novel, I knew I wanted to adapt it,” Gerstein exclusively tells ELLE.com in an email. “The novel has textured characters, a multi-layered world, surprises, and themes that intrigue me as a writer and I was so excited to expand on what Alexis had set up. Like the book, the show deals with very real issues like grief, class, race, and culture’s obsession with dead white girls while set in a beautiful location with a great mystery propelling us to the end.”
Here’s what else to know.
When does the series come out?
Saint X will premiere on Hulu on April 26 with the first three episodes, followed by one new episode per week, ELLE.com confirms. There are eight episodes total.
Who’s in the cast?
Fear the Walking Dead’s Alycia Debnam-Carey stars as Emily Thomas. She’s joined by Josh Bonzie (The Good Fight) as Clive “Gogo” Richardson, West Duchovny (Linoleum) as Alison Thomas, Jayden Elijah (School’s Out Forever) as Edwin, Bre Francis (Malory Towers) as Sara, Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad) as Mia Thomas, Michael Park (As the World Turns) as Bill Thomas, and Kenlee Anaya Townsend as Claire.
Gerstein adds that the cast members “were dreams to work with. They brought depth and honesty to all their performances, and we were so very lucky to have the amazing Dee Rees on board to direct the first episode and set the look and tone of the season.”
Can I get a sneak peek?
Here are some first-look photos of the series below while we wait for a trailer.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.