Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) will adapt the "sprawling novel series" Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake as a TV series, Deadline reported, adding that FremantleMedia North America "won a hotly contested battle to option the five books in the series.... It is the latest FremantleMedia project for Gaiman, who already exec produces Starz fantasy drama American Gods and signed an exclusive multi-year deal with the producer last year." Gaiman will be a non-writing executive producer on the project alongside Oscar-winning writer Goldsman.
"There is nothing in literature like Mervyn Peake's remarkable Gormenghast novels," said Gaiman. "They were crafted by a master, who was also an artist, and they take us to an ancient castle as big as a city, with heroes and villains and people larger than life that are impossible to forget. There is a reason why there were two trilogies that lovers of the fantasy genre embraced in the Sixties: Lord of the Rings, and the Gormenghast books. It's an honor to have been given the opportunity to help shepherd Peake's brilliant and singular vision to the screen."
Dante Di Loreto, president of scripted entertainment, FremantleMedia North America, commented: "Nothing combines a dark atmosphere with humor and intrigue the way that Gormenghast does. It's one of the most eccentric and vividly imagined universes ever created. We're excited to continue our relationship with Neil and the producing team assembled for this project is ideal to explore the series' perfect mix of humor, pathos and tragedy."
Fabian Peake, son of Mervyn and executor of the Peake estate, added: "We are tremendously excited by the prospect of seeing the Gormenghast books realized for television. This venture presents a unique opportunity to explore the imagination of a multi-faceted artist."