In August 2001, producer Scott Rudin optioned the film rights to The Corrections for Paramount Pictures. As of December 2012 the rights have not yet been turned into a finished film.
In 2002, the film was said to be in pre-production, with Stephen Daldry attached to direct and dramatist David Hare working on the screenplay. In October 2002, Franzen gave Entertainment Weekly a wish cast-list for the film, saying, "If they told me Gene Hackman was going to do Alfred, I would be delighted. If they told me they had cast Cate Blanchett as [Alfred's daughter] Denise, I would be jumping up and down, even though officially I really don't care what they do with the movie."
In January 2005, Variety announced that, with Daldry presumably off the project, Robert Zemeckis was developing Hare's script "with an eye toward directing." In August 2005, Variety confirmed that the director would definitely be helming The Corrections. Around this time, it was rumored that the cast would include Judi Dench as the family matriarch Enid, along with Brad Pitt, Tim Robbins and Naomi Watts as her three children. In January 2007, Variety wrote that Hare was still at work on the film's screenplay.
In September, 2011, it was announced that Rudin and the screenwriter and director Noah Baumbach were preparing The Corrections as a "drama series project," to potentially co-star Anthony Hopkins and air on the cable channel HBO. Baumbach and Franzen collaborated on the screenplay, which Baumbach would direct. In 2011, it was announced that Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest will star in the HBO adaptation. In November 2011, it was announced that Ewan McGregor has joined the cast. In a March 7, 2012 interview, McGregor confirmed that work on the film was a "about a week" in and also noted that both Dianne Wiest and Maggie Gyllenhaal were among the cast members. But on May 1, 2012, HBO decided not to pick up the pilot for a full series.