BBC One will adapt Kit de Waal's novel My Name is Leon (Simon & Schuster) into a film.
My Name is Leon will be adapted by Shola Amoo, writing his first screenplay for television and directed by Kibwe Tavares. It will be produced by Douglas Road Productions for BBC One.
Set in 1980s Britain, My Name is Leon tells the “uplifting and incredibly moving story of nine year old Leon, a mixed-race boy whose desire is to keep his family together, as his single-parent mother suffers a devastating breakdown” according to its synopsis.
Amoo said: “I’m very excited to be a part of this ground-breaking project for the BBC. It was a real honour and privilege to adapt Kit De Waal’s touching and thought-provoking book for the screen and I can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Tavares said: "While making my first short film about the Brixton riots and police brutality, I found out a lot about myself and started confronting questions around race and identity that I'd maybe shied away from before. Leon was pushed much more violently into this journey at a much younger age... I feel lucky and excited to work with Kit and Shola in telling Leon's story. It’s an important one."
Douglas Road Productions c.e.o. Lenny Henry, who recorded the audiobook, said: "I was halfway through recording the audiobook for My Name Is Leon when I realised I was in love. Kit de Waal’s peerless narrative had me entranced from the beginning and didn’t let me go until the final sentence. Shola’s adaptation does the story great justice and our intention is for the film to similarly captivate."
Novelist de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother and Caribbean father. She worked for 15 years in criminal and family law before studying an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brooks.