Horowitz's Alex Rider novels optioned for TV

Horowitz's Alex Rider novels optioned for TV

Eleventh Hour Films (EHF) has optioned the screen rights to Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider novels (Walker Books).

The television adaptation of the reluctant teenage superspy will be penned by BAFTA award-winning screen writer Guy Burt ("Bletchley Circle", "The Borgias"). Each series will cover one book. EHF is currently developing the idea with ITV and is also in discussion with a number of international partners.

Burt said: “I’ve been a big fan of Anthony’s books for years and their combination of adrenaline-fuelled plot lines, cool characters and coming-of-age story make them superb material for adaptation. The dangers are genuine, the themes topical and the long-form television format gives me license to go deeper into the world of Alex and the characters that surround him.”

EHF’s executive producer, Eve Gutierrez, said:“Re-versioning such a successful set of novels for TV is no small feat but with audiences looking for bigger and bolder dramas that provide true cinematic experiences this feels like the perfect moment for the brand.”

Horowitz said work on a television adaptation of Alex Rider had coincided "perfectly" with the release the new novel, Never Say Die. "Guy is cleverly expanding the characters whilst staying true to the spirit of the original novels to ensure that the series will appeal to both loyal fans and a new generation of viewers,” he said.

Never Say Die, the 10th Alex Rider novel, will be published on 1st June despite the author previously announcing that the series was concluded. Horowitz said he was inspired to continue his hero’s story while preparing a collection of Rider short stories, to be published in 2018.

Last month, Horowitz hit the headlines after claiming he was "warned off" by his publisher from writing a black character in an upcoming book out of concern it would be "inappropriate" for him as a white writer. He told the Mail on Sunday his encounter with an editor in the US had been a “disturbing and upsetting experience”. The UK-based Walker Books later asserted that it would not instruct authors on whether or not to include characters of a different race or background in their books.