The first of Deborah Harkness' bestselling All Souls Trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, is being adapted for Sky 1 and Now TV starring Matthew Goode (“Downton Abbey”) and Teresa Palmer (“Hacksaw Ridge”).
The Sky Original production will begin shooting with production company Bad Wolf in September on location in Wales, Oxford and Venice.
The first in the supernatural mystery series, published in 2011, is a love story set in Oxford’s academic world, in a universe where witches, vampires and daemons live and work “unseen amongst humans”. The discovery of a manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library exposes a “dangerous mystery” and leads Diana (Palmer) to meet geneticist Matthew Clairmont (Goode), who is secretly a vampire.
The deal for TV rights to the book were negotiated by agent Rich Green at ICM with Bad Wolf's Business Affairs team.
Harkness said: “Teresa and Matthew perfectly capture my characters – I’m so excited by the casting and how they will bring the books to life."
"A Discovery of Witches" was commissioned by Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah and director of Sky 1 Adam MacDonald. It has been adapted for screen by writer Kate Brooke (“Mr Selfridge") while co-founder of Bad Wolf Jane Tranter will executive produce and Juan Carlos Medina (“Painless”) will direct.
Mensah said: “A Discovery of Witches is a proper love story for grown-ups. However, the fact that it also examines science, magic and being ‘other’ in the modern world makes it a must watch. Deborah Harkness and Kate Brooke have given us a drama that packs both an emotional and thought-provoking punch.”
Showrunner Kate Brooke added: “The show is a relationship drama, grounded in emotional truth. Diana and Matthew, like all couples who meet and fall in love, at times struggle to understand each other and come to terms with their differences.”
Tranter said: “We can’t wait to introduce fans of the novels to our cast and to bring in a whole new audience to these extraordinary stories.”
The international distribution rights will be handled by Sky Vision, the broadcaster's international production and distribution arm.
A Discovery of Witches as sold just under 120,000 print units for almost £730,000 since being published in 2011. The whole trilogy has sold 219,103 making £1.5m.