Monumental options Benson's debut

Monumental options Benson's debut

Jendella Benson’s upcoming debut novel, Hope and Glory (Trapeze), has been optioned for TV by Monumental Television, with the series to be created in conjunction with ITV Studios. 

Monumental (known for shows such as “Harlots” and “Ghosts”) acquired the option from Louisa Minghella of Blake Friedmann with writer of Olivier-winning play “Gone too Far!” Bola Agbaje to adapt the novel. 

Trapeze won a three-way auction for UK and Commonwealth rights to the novel with publication slated for April 2022. William Morrow pre-empted in the US. 

Hope and Glory is tipped by Trapeze as "a thoughtful exploration of Nigerian heritage and how tradition and history shapes families and the relationships within them". 

It follows Glory as she arrives back in Peckham, from her seemingly glamorous life in LA, to mourn the sudden death of her father, and finds her previously close family has fallen apart in her absence. Her brother, Victor, has been jailed; her sister, Faith, appears to have lost her independence and ambition; and their mother, Celeste, is headed towards a breakdown. Glory decides to stay to bring them all together again. However, when she unearths a huge family secret, Glory risks losing everyone she truly cares about in her pursuit of the truth. 

Agbaje said: "The book speaks to me on many levels. I'm British/Nigerian, grew up in Peckham and the main protagonist is a young Black woman. I have been working tirelessly pitching shows with Black female-led leads. Jendella has provided me with great source material; I can't wait for the world to see what we come up with.” 

Benson said: “I feel like I’ve got the dream scenario with Monumental and Bola Agbaje working on developing Hope and Glory. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect writer than Bola, and I know Glory’s story is in safe hands with Monumental. I am incredibly excited for the journey ahead.” 

Alison Owen, joint m.d. of Monumental Pictures, said: “‘We’d been looking for ages for a really moving, engaging, contemporary British family drama. When we read Jendella’s book we knew we’d found it, and to have Bola respond as she did is a dream come true.”