Book on Europe's refugee crisis to become drama series

Book on Europe's refugee crisis to become drama series

Drama producer Playground has secured the rights to The New Odyssey – The Story of Europe’s Refugee Crisis by Guardian journalist Patrick Kingsley.

Playground acquired the rights from Guardian News and Media and will produce a “major” new TV drama series based on the book through its UK office.

In 2015, the Guardian appointed Kingsley as its migration correspondent, and non-fiction title The New Odyssey – The Story of Europe’s Refugee Crisis is the result of his work. Throughout 2015 Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making their "epic odyssey across deserts, seas, and mountains to reach the holy-grail of Europe".

The book is an “unparalleled” account of those voyagers – who they are, what keeps them going, and how they do it. It is also an account of all those who help or exploit them along the way.

Kingsley goes "behind the headlines and the statistics to humanise the crisis, to tell the story from the inside - riding the trains with Hashem al-Souki as he travels from Syria to Sweden; drinking illicit moonshine with the kingpin smuggler Hajj, an obese Libyan law graduate who makes millions from his new trade, or walking with Fattemah Abu al-Rouse, the pregnant Syrian teacher who fears losing her baby as she treks through the Balkans".

Louise Pedersen, managing director of Playground UK, said: “We are very proud that the Guardian and Patrick Kingsley have entrust Playground with this remarkable book. This is a testament to Playground’s appetite to grow a diverse and compelling slate.”

Guardian Faber will publish The New Odyssey - The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis on 5th May.

Playground is currently in pre-production in the UK on Kenneth Lonergan’s adaptation of the classic novel by E.M Forster Howards End (Penguin Classics) for the BBC.