Harry Potter films producer David Heyman is adapting Andrea Levy's novel The Long Song into "a high-end drama" for BBC One, Deadline reported. The series is being produced by Heyman's Heyday Television, a joint venture with NBC Universal, and will be written by Sarah Williams, who co-wrote Small Island with Paula Milne and ITV's Case Sensitive.
Heyman said The Long Song, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, "cries out for dramatization.... It's a novel full of surprise and unpredictable twists, upending any easy stereotypes of slave and master. We're delighted that writer Sarah Williams has been able to capture the wit and verve of Andrea's fiercely original heroine, July."
BBC drama controller Piers Wenger added: "July's story is heart-breaking, inspiring and utterly unforgettable. Sarah's script perfectly captures the unique tone of Andrea's novel and skillfully brings this story of slavery in a British colony to life."
BBC One has ordered a series of adaptations of Charles Dickens's classic novels to be produced by Ridley Scott's Scott Free London in association with Tom Hardy's Hardy Son & Baker, Deadline reported. The series will kick off with a three-part version of A Christmas Carol, which will air in 2019.
Steven Knight, creator of Peaky Blinders, is heading the effort, which was commissioned by the BBC's Piers Wenger and Charlotte Moore. Deadline noted that "the transfers are promised to brim with Knight's unique style, creating a boxed-set of Dickens' most iconic novels over the next few years."
Knight said, "Any question about narrative storytelling is answered by Dickens. To have the chance to revisit the text and interpret in a new way is the greatest privilege. We need luck and wisdom to do this justice."