Television rights to Neil Spring's The Watchers (Quercus) have been optioned by DNA Films and TV, after an eight-way auction.
Set amidst inexplicable goings-on along the Pembrokeshire coastline and Cold War cover-ups at the Ministry of Defence, The Watchers is described as "a gripping paranormal and science-fiction mystery that intertwines the imaginative and the suspenseful with historical UFO sightings".
The Watchers is the second novel by Neil Spring published by Quercus. His first novel, The Ghost Hunters, was published in 2013 to critical acclaim and is now being adapted into a major television drama for ITV starring Rafe Spall. The television drama, "Harry Price: Ghost Hunter" is expected to air this winter.
Tom Winchester, head of TV development at DNA Films and TV, said: "Neil Spring is a master of the modern gothic chiller. Working with him on the ITV adaptation of The Ghost Hunters was a pleasure, and I'm thrilled that he's decided to bring his second novel to DNA Films and TV."
Kathryn Taussig, commissioning editor at Quercus, said: "Neil Spring’s evocative writing style is just perfect for film and television. As his publishers we're not surprised that so many others have seen the massive potential in Neil's talent for spinning a memorable story. "The Watchers" is sure to become a huge hit."
Spring said: "I always envisaged The Watchers making a great returnable drama that gets under your skin, and as one of the finest film companies in the world I have no doubt that DNA Films and TV is the perfect home for the work."
DNA’s films include "Never Let Me Go", "Far From the Madding Crowd", "28 Days Later" and "Ex Machina".
The deal for the television rights was handled by Erin Conway at William Morris Endeavour. Spring’s literary work is represented by Cathryn M Summerhayes at William Morris Endeavour.