Sony Pictures Television’s (SPT) International Production and Worldwide Distribution divisions have joined forces to greenlight an eight-episode young-adult drama series based on Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider novels, from Eleventh Hour Films (EHF). The deal marks the first pickup of an original spec series by the SPT groups.
London-based independent drama production company, EHF, optioned the screen rights to Horowitz’s novels last year, which chart the adventures of a reluctant teen superspy on his missions to save the world. The international bestselling series of novels were first introduced by Horowitz in 2000. They became a global phenomenon, especially among young adult male readers, selling over 19 million copies worldwide, with the books translated into 28 languages.
The adaptation, penned by BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Guy Burt (Bletchley Circle, The Borgias, The Hole), begins with the second book in the series, Point Blanc, published in 2001 in the UK and 2002 in North America. EHF’s Eve Gutierrez and Jill Green will executive produce the TV series alongside Horowitz and Burt.
“We identified Alex Rider some time ago as we were looking for the right project to take this leap, and we’re thrilled it has come together as our very first spec series,” said SPT’s Wayne Garvie, President, International Production, and Keith Le Goy, President, Worldwide Distribution and Networks. “This is a big-brand property with a passionate following, and with Guy’s fantastic writing and the talented team at EHF, we are pleased to be bringing these gripping stories to life and making a unique show that will appeal to young-adult audiences around the world.”
The EHF and SPT adaptation re-imagines Point Blanc as a thrilling, coming-of-age spy serial, which sees teenage Alex infiltrate a controversial correctional academy for the wayward off-spring of the uber rich and powerful. Across the eight episodes Alex, acting an an unofficial agent for MI6, investigates the sinister true purpose of the academy while at the same time is forced to question everything he thought he knew about himself.
Eve Gutierrez, Exec Producer and Head of Talent at EHF said: “With the television landscape evolving so rapidly it feels like the perfect moment to be partnering with SPT on Alex Rider and even more exciting that it will be their first original commission. The combination of Guy Burt’s brilliant character-driven scripts and the legacy of Anthony Horowitz’s books gives us all the ingredients for a truly distinctive spy drama.”
Anthony Horowitz comments: “So many Alex Rider fans have been asking me when he would be returning to the screen - and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s finally happening. Guy Burt has perfectly captured the danger and excitement of the books and I’m sure the series will have universal appeal.”
Horowitz’s 12th Alex Rider novel, Nightshade, is due in 2019.
EHF and SPT are also currently developing UFO drama series Rendlesham, which SPT will also distribute. Eleventh Hour Films produces high quality event drama for broadcasters internationally. Productions include Safe House (ITV), New Blood (BBC One), Foyle’s War (ITV) and Collision (ITV).
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