Anonymous Content is developing a limited series adaptation of The 39 Steps, written by John Buchan. According to Deadline, Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) has signed on to star in and executive produce the thriller series.
Based on the classic novel, The 39 Steps series will follow Richard Hannay, a seemingly uninteresting man, as he finds himself tangled in a web of global conspiracy that is set to overturn the world order, via Deadline. Hannay stands as the only person able to stop the 39 steps that will lead to global destruction.
This will not be the first time The 39 Steps has been adapted. Its most famous audiovisual form was in 1935, when Alfred Hitchcock directed a feature film based on Buchan’s novel. Several other film versions exist, including those released in 1959 (directed by Ralph Thomas), 1978 (directed by Don Sharp) and the TV Movie which premiered in 2008 (directed by James Hawes).
The series is created by Mark L. Smith (screenwriter, The Revenant) and will be directed by Edward Berger (director, Your Honor), with both attached as executive producers, according to Deadline. Cumberbatch and his producing partner Adam Ackland will be producing through their production company, SunnyMarch. The project will be a reunion for Cumberbatch and Berger as they previously worked together on Patrick Melrose.
Other producers include Sophie Gardiner (producer, Howards End), Cliff Roberts (producer, The Midnight Sky), and Keith Redmon (producer, Triple 9), via Deadline. In addition to Anonymous Content, Chapter One Pictures and SunnyMarch will be the production companies co-producing the project.
Chapter One Pictures is Anonymous Content’s UK production branch, based in London. Most recently, the production company has begun pre-production on Jack Thorne’s (His Dark Materials) Best Interest drama series. (Deadline)
The 39 Steps will be shopped around to different networks and streamers. No current production timeline or release date has been announced.