EXCLUSIVE: Choderlos de Laclos’ classic 18th Century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses is headed to the small screen as a drama series project penned by the screenwriter who knows it best — Christopher Hampton. Hampton first adapted the book as a play, which earned him a Tony nomination, and then turned his play into an Oscar-winning script for the 1988 movie Dangerous Liaisons starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Now Hampton has teamed with producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender for a drama series adaptation, which is in development at the BBC. Once Hampton finishes the script, the project is expected to be taken out to U.S. networks. For the series, Hampton will be going back to the original literary source and won’t incorporate any elements of his stage or movie adaptations. In fact, the series will be based not only on characters from Les Liaisons Dangereuses but also from other novels from the 18th century French libertine literary movement it belonged to. The pulp fiction genre, which came to an end with the French Revolution, chronicled the antics of the country’s rich aristocracy.
A tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge, Les Liaisons Dangereuses chronicles the cruel games played by ex-lovers and bitter rivals Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, who use sex as a weapon to humiliate others for their own enjoyment. Hampton is executive producing with Krantz through Flame Ventures and Callender through Playground. The project expands the relationship between Krantz and Callender who also executive produce together the NBC/Sky Living drama series Dracula. In addition to the 1988 big-screen adaptation, there was also the 2003 Dangerous Liaisons miniseries starring Catherine Deneuve and Rupert Everett. Hampton is repped by CAA and Casarotto/Ramsay in London. Krantz is repped by CAA.