Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations
By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee and Emma Leask
Two new novels coming soon from HarperNorth
HarperNorth have announced two new novel acquisitions, the first of which is Fray by Chris Carse Wilson. This intriguing thriller follows a nameless narrator as they search for their father in the Scottish Highlands, who they discover was in a frantic search for his late wife. This is Carse Wilson’s debut novel and will be published in April 2023. It’s bound to be a powerful tale of family and grief, with the Highlands providing the perfect atmospheric setting to reel readers in.
Their second acquisition is Remember, Remember, an explosive historical fiction. This is a retelling of the Gunpowder Plot from Elle Machray, a recent graduate of the HarperCollins Author and Design Academy. She has penned a queer reimagining of an iconic part of British history which promises to be a “dazzling” tale (The Bookseller). The book was acquired by commissioning editor Daisy Watt, who has praised its passion and its central anti-racist messages. UK and Commonwealth rights for a second novel from Machray were also acquired by Watt, and we can’t wait to see the exciting launch of a new author’s career from a leading publisher in the North.
Puffin lands rights to Jamie Oliver’s first novel
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will be entering the world of fiction for the first time with Puffin, who will publish his first children’s book Billy and the Giant Adventure in April 2023. Oliver comments that reading and writing was difficult for him to learn as a child because of his dyslexia, but it meant that he developed a vivid imagination he could use to create stories such as this one for himself. The book is based on a bedtime story he used to tell his children – one of many he used to invent when they were younger. This book already promises to be a magical story that children and adults alike will adore.
From Book to Screen
What to Watch?
Catherine, Called Birdy on Amazon Prime Video
The adaptation of the children’s novel by Karen Cushman will be directed by Lena Dunham. Following its premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, the British comedy movie will follow the adventures of Lady Catherine (also known as Birdy) in the medieval times of England as she attempts to find a way out of the arranged marriages set for her by her father. With her rebellious and witty personality, she is ready to outwit and put off her suitors in different ways, which show off her independence from her parents. It will also explore Birdy’s life and the economic system in the medieval era. The leading cast will star Bella Ramsey, Billie Piper, Andrew Scott, Lesley Sharp and Joe Alwyn. It is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
In the Works
One Day coming to Netflix
International bestseller One Day by David Nicholls is to get a series adaptation over ten years after the release of the film version back in 2011 which starred Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Currently in pre-production, the series is set to star Ambika Mod, known for her role in This Is Going to Hurt, along with Leo Woodall and Eleanor Tomlinson as the main leads. The story will follow Emma Morley (Mod) and Dexter Mayhew (Woodall) where they meet one day in the year 1988. After their college graduation they go their separate ways but, as the years go by, they decide to meet every 15 July over the span of 20 years and we see them change as their lives unfold. No release date has been announced yet but there are speculations that it will be out sometime in 2023. keep an eye out for more information on this new series coming out soon.
The Radleys to be adapted into a film
Matt Haig’s novel The Radleys is set to be developed into a film, starring Damian Lewis. The book follows a family of vampire “abstainers” – vampires who refuse to drink blood. Neither the neighbours nor the two teenagers of the family know what they truly are. It’s only Helen and Peter (Lewis), the parents, who know their secret. Described as a “supernatural black comedy” (Deadline), the arrival of Peter’s twin brother Will (Lewis) upends the family’s lives as truths are revealed and cravings are satisfied. The film is produced by Debbie Gray through Genesius Pictures, and Heartstopper director Euros Lyn will be sitting in the directorial chair. We can’t wait to see this well-loved novel brought to life on the big screen.
Richard Armitage to lead Jackman and Evans series adaptation
Richard Armitage’s production company White Boar Films has teamed up with Sprout Pictures to acquire the film and television rights to the Jackman and Evans series by Joy Ellis. The nine-book crime series will form the basis of a television adaptation entitled The Fens. Armitage is set to lead the “unsettling, atmospheric” (The Bookseller) production as Rowan Jackman, a Detective Inspector in the Fenland Constabulary. At this time, a release date has not been set, but we are looking forward to this gritty crime thriller.