Books by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho are being developed for a TV drama series, the first TV adaptation of his work.
The crime thriller series is being made by FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) and London-based Dancing Ledge Productions, although there is not yet a broadcaster attached.
The production will also be made in association with Penguin Random House's former in-house television and film development and production group, Random House Studio, which was bought by FMNA in 2016.
Exploring themes and characters from his novels The Devil and Miss Prym, Brida and The Witch of Portobello (all published by HarperCollins), the “gripping” series will explore the human condition, “celebrating Coelho’s multi-layered and inspirational storytelling”.
The as-yet-untitled TV series follows a young priest who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and redemption – ostracised by his church, a fugitive from the law, and hunted by a powerful crime family. The CIA agent who is chasing him discovers mysterious powers and "a more profound connection to the priest than she ever thought possible". Coelho will introduce each episode and share thoughts on its themes.
Executive producing the upcoming series will be the award-winning team of FMNA’s president Dante Di Loreto, Random House Studio head Peter Gethers, and Laurence Bowen, c.e.o. of Dancing Ledge Productions which is based in Kensington.
“There has never been a more prolific, thought-provoking and socially engaged author as Paulo Coelho,” said Di Loreto. “His stories make us look at the world differently, tapping into our true selves to further discover our place within the journey for hope, inspiration and social change.”
“Hundreds of millions of people have discovered in Paulo Coelho’s writing a universality that feels deeply personal. Here we want to celebrate his vision and weave together elements of his work into a gripping new epic journey. We couldn’t be more excited,” said Bowen.
The deal is the latest creative partnership to be announced by FremantleMedia, which has recently released plans for a roster of large scale, high-end drama series. Upcoming projects include the adaptation of Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the re-imagining of Joan Lindsay's Picnic At Hanging Rock, the drama version of Elena Ferrante’s international bestselling book My Brilliant Friend, commissioned by HBO and RAI and an adaption of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast fantasy book series.