Last year, Harry Potter creator JK Rowling caused quite a stir when she was revealed as the true author of a well-received detective novel written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The Cuckoo’s Calling then raced to the top of sales charts and a second book, The Silkworm, followed. The first book was understood to be a hot property in Hollywood, but ultimately, it’s the BBC that will handle the adaptation. BBC One has commissioned a drama series based on the first two books that feature war veteran Cormoran Strike who turns private investigator after losing a leg in Afghanistan.
Brontë Film and TV will produce the “major” drama series. That’s the same outfit behind the BBC adaptation of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, her first adult novel after wrapping up the Potter books. That three-parter, a co-production with HBO, will air in February on BBC One.
Rowling will collaborate on the Cormoran Strike project whose details are still being worked out — the number and length of episodes will be decided once the creative adaptation process formally begins. The first book sees Strike barely scraping by with just one client. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Enter John Bristow who walks through the door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. The second novel sets Strike on the trail of missing author Owen Quine who’s on the verge of publishing a tell-all book.
Brontë’s Neil Blair says, “We’re delighted to be bringing these best-selling novels to the screen and to be working once again alongside the BBC.”
Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, adds, “It’s a wonderful coup for BBC Television to be bringing JK Rowling’s latest books to the screen. With the rich character of Cormoran Strike at their heart, these dramas will be event television across the world.”
The Cormoran Strike novels are published in the UK by Little Brown’s Sphere. In the U.S., they’re with Little Brown imprint Mulholland.