Atkinson’s Life After Life on track for BBC One adaptation

Atkinson’s Life After Life on track for BBC One adaptation

BBC One has commissioned a four-part adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s Costa Award-winning Life After Life from House Productions.

The producer is Kate Ogborn, who also produced "End of the F***ing World", and the executive producers are Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell, who set up House Productions–the production company behind the EMMY-nominated drama "Brexit: An Uncivil War" starring Benedict Cumberbatch–alongside Lucy Richer for the BBC. 

Playwright and screenwriter Bash Doran has written all four episodes and John Crowley will be directing. Filming will take place in spring 2021, with casting details to be released nearer the time.

In Life After Life (Black Swan), Ursula Todd dies one night in 1910, before she can draw her first breath. On that same night in 1910, Ursula is born and survives. She finds herself time and again, living and dying in different circumstances, only to be reborn into a new, alternative iteration of life once more.

Atkinson's 2013 novel is the first of two about the Todd family, with the second, A God in Ruins, published in 2015.

Executive producers Ross and Howell said: "We feel hugely privileged that Kate Atkinson has entrusted the adaptation of her bestselling, award-winning novel Life After Life to House. We have brought together an immensely talented team who love the novel as we do to: Bash Doran’s scripts brilliantly capture the heart and soul of the novel, the warmth and scale of its world and the extraordinary characters who inhabit it. All human life is here, told through the experiences of Ursula who keeps on dying and being reborn.

"And in John Crowley, we know we have a wonderful and ambitious director who brings huge heart, gripping storytelling and an extraordinary visual flair to this incredible story. We can’t wait to get started."

Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, said: "We are honoured to be able to bring Kate Atkinson’s adored Life After Life to life on the BBC. With the incredible team of Bash, John and House Productions behind it we have no doubt that this is going to be a really remarkable adaptation."