EXCLUSIVE: Hera Pictures, the indie behind Jodie Comer-starrer The End We Start From and Sky/Starz’ upcoming Mary & George, is developing a TV version of Joanna Quinn’s hit novel The Whalebone Theatre.
The 2022 best-seller is a coming-of-age story set in the shadows of the oncoming World War Two. It tells the story of an ‘unmarriageable girl’, Cristobel, electing to defy convention and find her own path through life. As Cristabel grows into a headstrong young woman, World War II approaches and she and her brother become British secret agents on separate missions in Nazi-occupied France.
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The book hit best-seller lists in the UK and U.S. and has sold into 14 further territories worldwide since its release. No network is attached as of yet to the TV version.
Whalebone Theatre is the latest project for Hera, the drama indie run by former Channel 4 drama boss Liza Marshall that finds itself in rude health. Upcoming projects include Chloé Zhao’s adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet for the big screen, Jodie Comer apocalypse movie The End We Start From, which premieres in the UK on Friday, period drama Mary and George – one of Sky’s flagship for the year – and BBC Three’s Paris Lees adaptation What It Feels Like For A Girl. Past credits include ITV’s Honour and Sky’s Temple.
“We fell in love with Jo’s gorgeous book from the moment it began,” said Marshall. “A family epic, a coming-of-age chronicle, a spy thriller and a tangled romance, The Whalebone Theatre is written with such warmth, poignancy and humour, it’s no surprise that it is a global bestseller.”
Quinn added that “countless people who have read the book have told me they would love to see it as a TV series, and I am delighted that Hera Pictures have acquired the rights.”
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