TV rights in Heather Morris’ bestselling novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz have been snapped up by Synchronicity Films for a multi-part, high-end international drama series.
Synchronicity, producer of "The Cry", has already moved the project into development with Jacquelin Perske attached to adapt the book. The plan is to broadcast in January 2020 to tie in with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
First published by Echo and Zaffre in January 2018, The Tattooist of Auschwitz has gone on to sell more than three quarters of a million copies worldwide in all formats to date according to Bonnier Books UK. According to Nielsen, in hardback and trade paperback alone it has sold 126,173 copies.
Based on a life-affirming true story, it centres on Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who was given the job of tattooing identification numbers on prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during World War Two. When he met Gita, waiting in line to be tattooed, it was love at first sight, thus beginning "a tale of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances".
Claire Mundell, founder and creative director at Synchronicity Films, who struck the deal with CAA, representing Bonnier Books UK, commented: “We are beyond thrilled to have secured the rights to this incredibly brilliant, confronting and uplifting book. I fell in love with it within a few pages and was desperate to bring it to the screen, to reach the widest audience possible for this unforgettable story. There was a huge amount of interest in this title and I am grateful that Heather Morris, Bonnier Books UK and CAA responded so well to our vision for the story."
The book's author Morris added: “Lale Sokolov placed a great deal of trust in me when he first shared his story. I am now passing that baton on and am so pleased that Synchronicity Films was successful in negotiating for the rights. Claire and her colleagues have an obvious passion for my book and have demonstrated clear sensitivity to producing a real person’s story. I know Lale will be smiling down at this new phase of his and Gita’s story."