FremantleMedia North America has found a creative director for its adaption of Mervyn Peake’s gothic fantasy book series, Gormenghast.
Deadline reports Being Human creator and Doctor Who veteran Toby Whithouse will serve as executive producer and principle writer on the television series, which also counts Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman as executive producers.
The novels trace the life of Titus Groan, the 77th Earl of Groan. He is a reluctant heir, but one who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom, unless the charismatic, but twisted Steerpike rises above his kitchen boy station to take control of the House of Groan. Titus comes to realize that the fortress isn’t simply a castle stifled by traditions, but a legacy that provides him with the foundations to survive and thrive in the world outside the castle walls.
“There is nothing in literature like Mervyn Peake’s remarkable Gormenghast novels,” said Gaiman in a statement when the project was first announced. “They were crafted by a master, who was also an artist, and they take us to an ancient castle as big as a city, with heroes and villains and people larger than life that are impossible to forget. There is a reason why there were two trilogies that lovers of the fantasy genre embraced in the Sixties: Lord of the Rings, and the Gormenghast books. It’s an honor to have been given the opportunity to help shepherd Peake’s brilliant and singular vision to the screen.”
It is currently unclear when or where the series will air, but as cable channels and streaming platforms all scramble for fantasy content, Fremantle will have plenty of options when it comes time for find a broadcast home.
Gormenghast was previously adapted on television before in the form of an ambitious 2000 BBC television series featuring actors like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Stephen Fry and Christopher Lee.
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