Hera Pictures has acquired the TV rights to Emmy-award winning writer and historian Benjamin Woolley's new book, The King’s Assassin: The Fatal Affair of George Villiers and James I (Pan Macmillan).
The book, which published last month, explores the intense affair between King James I and his lover and likely killer, George Villiers.
Spanning the decade from 1615-1625, it charts the meteoric rise of the "charismatic and captivating" young Villiers, from minor gentry to gentleman of the King’s bedchamber and the man James I declared he wanted to be his “wife”. Villiers was accused of poisoning the King, but a fraught parliamentary investigation led to nothing. He remained by the king's side until until his death in 1625. Woolley, who is a writer, broadcaster and presenter, weaves new historical scholarship into a narrative suggesting that the relationship between these two men may have proved fatal to the King.
Producer Liza Marshall, formerly head of Drama at Channel 4, set up Hera Productions in January this year. She acquired the TV/Film rights from Lesley Thorne at Aitken Alexander Associates.
Marshall said: “James I is such a compelling monarch but one who has been under explored on screen. There is a James I Bible in every hotel room in the US, and a Shakespeare play from his era in every classroom – yet people know little of the lust, jealousy and heartbreak that defined his rule. I can’t wait to bring to screen this glorious period and the untold story of James I’s fatal affair.”