‘Sharp Objects’ EP Describes the HBO Series as an ‘Emotional Ghost Story’

Sharp Objects - Eliza Scanlen, Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson

Last year, HBO captured lightning in a bottle — not to mention a truckload of awards — with Big Little Lies’ powerhouse combo of A-list cast, female-driven plot and suspense-thriller twists.

Lightning may strike twice with Sharp Objects, an eight-part adaptation of the bestseller by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn starring Amy Adams and directed by Lies’ Jean-Marc Vallée. “I think it will scratch that same dark, murder-mystery itch,” showrunner Marti Noxon says. “But Sharp Objects is so its own thing, and it could reach a different audience too. This is for everyone.”

Everyone, perhaps, except the faint of heart. Adams plays Camille Preaker, a haggard cub reporter for a St. Louis newspaper who — as we’ll learn — recently checked out of a psychiatric hospital. That stint, alas, has done little to quell her appetite for swilling vodka and engaging in self-harm. (The words she carves into her own body double as episode titles.)

And things are about to get worse: She’s just been assigned to cover the story of a murdered preteen girl in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, a depressed hamlet crawling with painful memories that include a devastating death during her childhood. Warns Noxon, “The past is about to catch up with Camille.”

The present isn’t exactly a dream either. Camille’s wealthy mother, Adora Crellin (Patricia Clarkson), and teenage half-sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen) — a pair of toxic steel magnolias — are among those wishing Camille would stay out of Wind Gap’s dirty laundry, especially when the trail starts to lead to an unexpected and deeply personal place. “

Camille goes on this quest and gets answers to both her own mysteries and the [murder] mysteries,” Noxon says. “It’s like an emotional ghost story.”

Sharp Objects, Series Premieres, Sunday, July 8, 9/8c, HBO