Three novels by Ian McEwan - The Children Act (2014), On Chesil Beach (2007) and The Child in Time (1987), all published by Vintage - are set to hit screens in the coming weeks as film and television adaptations.
Both "The Children Act" and "On Chesil Beach", for which McEwan has written the screenplays himself, are films with world premieres at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from 7th – 17th September. The films will be released in UK cinemas in early 2018.
"The Children Act", starring Emma Thompson as leading High Court judge Fiona Maye who is called upon to try the urgent case of a young boy refusing medical treatment on religious grounds, is directed by Richard Eyre, the director behind "Notes on a Scandal", and produced by Duncan Kenworthy, behind rom coms "Love Actually" and "Notting Hill". Stanley Tucci stars as Thompson’s husband who watches on as his wife becomes more and more involved in the case that will change her life.
The adaptation of On Chesil Beach, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007, is directed by Dominic Cooke, former artistic director of The Royal Court Theatre, and stars Saoirse Ronan as Florence Ponting and Billy Howle as Edward Mayhew, young university graduates getting married in 1962. Ronan played Briony Tallis in the 2007 film "Atonement" that was based on McEwan’s novel of the same name. The film is produced by Number 9 Films' Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen.
McEwan commented: "I’ve been privileged to work closely with these two gifted directors and I’m very pleased and excited by what we’ve achieved in 'The Children Act' and 'On Chesil Beach'."
"The Child in Time" is meanwhile the first project to be signed by Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company SunnyMarch. Cumberbatch himself will play the leading role when the film airs on BBC1 later this autumn. Grainne Marmion is producing and BAFTA-winning Julian Farino is the director.
The novel, which won the Whitbread Prize for Fiction in 1987, tells the story of celebrated children’s author Stephen Lewis, whose daughter goes missing while they are out shopping and, in a single moment, everything is changed.
Beth Coates, editorial director for Vintage, added: "What a thrill it is to see these three adaptations come to the screen within weeks of each other. It’s a testament to his extraordinary power as a writer – and we can’t wait to see his pages turned into big and small-screen gold."