EXCLUSIVE: Scottish production company Synchronicity Films has secured the film and TV rights to Graeme Macrae Burnet’s period crime thriller His Bloody Project. The novel has been shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Man Booker Prize this year. Synchronicity, headed by BAFTA-winning producer Claire Mundell, is developing it as a series with broadcast partner discussions underway.
Published by the Contraband imprint of Scotland’s Saraband, His Bloody Project tells the story of a brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish crofting community in 1869 (crofting is a form of land tenure and small-scale food production particular to the Highlands). The murder leads to the arrest of 17-year-old Roddy Macrae. There is no question of Roddy’s guilt, but his fate hangs on one key question: is he insane?
The psychological thriller, which is subtitled Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae, masquerades as a true crime story that’s based on found documents. The Guardian calls it “an artful portrait… that showcases contemporary theories about class and criminology” and says it’s “a blackly funny investigation into madness and motivation.”
The winner of the Man Booker, which comes with a £50K purse, will be announced on October 25. This is the same award that Hilary Mantel won twice with Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies which were subsequently turned into the BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning BBC/Masterpiece mini Wolf Hall.
Synchronicity Films co-produced Andrew Haigh’s Weekend and Scottish BAFTA nominee Not Another Happy Ending. Its current projects include The Cry for BBC One, a six-part emotional thriller from writer/producer Jacquelin Perske.