The Ink Factory is developing trauma surgeon David Nott’s acclaimed and bestselling memoir War Doctor (Picador), which details his experiences as a field doctor in the world’s most dangerous war zones and devastating humanitarian crises.
The deal for the film rights was brokered by Nicky Lund at David Higham with Yogita Puri at The Ink Factory, an independent studio based in London and Los Angeles, responsible for productions such as “The Little Drummer Girl” and “The Night Manager”.
The Ink Factory will finance and produce the feature, with Nott’s wife Eleanor Nott serving as executive producer alongside producer Tom Nash at The Ink Factory.
War Doctor, published by Picador in February, spans Nott's experiences in Sarajevo under siege in 1993, to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, as the NHS medic carried out life-saving field surgery in the most challenging conditions. It went straight into at Number 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list and spent six weeks in the Top 10.
He said: “I know that with The Ink Factory my book is in capable hands and am looking forward to their adaptation. I have been struck by Ink’s engagement with War Doctor and their enthusiasm for making a thoughtful and also thrilling film, with humanity at its core.”
Nash said: “When I first read David’s extraordinary memoir I was struck by his incredible compassion, even in the most dangerous of environments. David is a truly modern hero: undoubtedly courageous, but not afraid to acknowledge his vulnerability and humanity. I look forward to working closely with David and Elly Nott to bring this important and inspirational story to the screen.”
For more than 25 years, Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer as a field doctor for organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross. The conflicts he has worked in form a chronology of 21st century combat including Afghanistan, and Syria; but he has also volunteered in areas blighted by natural disasters, such as earthquake-struck Haiti and Nepal. Nott appeared in 2016 on “Desert Island Discs” and described his experience of being consoled by the Queen and her corgis during a visit to Buckingham Palace, when he was struggling with PTSD as a result of his work.