Former actor and the creator of BBC’s Being Human, Toby Whithouse, has been tapped to write and executive produce Fremantle’s adaptation of Meryvn Peake‘s fantasy book series, Gormenghast. Whithouse was also responsible for writing the Doctor Who episode School Reunion which featured the return of the robot dog K-9 and the 1970’s series’ companion, Sarah Jane Smith.
He will work with Starz’s American Gods’ Neil Gaiman and A Beautiful Mind’s Akiva Goldsman on the project. The duo will also serve as executive producers alongside Barry Spikings (The Deer Hunter) and David A. Stern (Howards End), but won’t take on any writing duties.
Previously, the BBC had adapted the first two books in the series, Titus Groan and Gormenghast, as a four-part mini television series in 2000 starring Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) as leads. Freemantle’s adaptation, will be first television adaptation of the book series since then.
Gormenghast‘s author Mervyn Peake, was well-versed in many creative endeavors such as being an artist, poet, and illustrator, as well as a writer. He also wrote poetry and literary nonsense in verse form, short stories for adults and children (Letters from a Lost Uncle), stage and radio plays, and Mr Pye. The latter work in which Peake, has God himself mock the evangelical pretensions and world-view of his title character .
Yet, the Gormenghast books are his most well-known work to this day. Each three books in the series, were originally conceived as a lengthy cycle, but their completion was prevented due to Peake’s declining health and eventual death. Hopefully this new adaptation will once again breath life into his most beloved work and introduce new audiences to the series.
Deadline first reported this story.