Busy UK-based indie Eleventh Hour Films has optioned the screen rights to Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling Alex Rider novels. BAFTA winner Guy Burt is attached to script a large-scale family series based on the YA books that chart the adventures of a reluctant teenage super-spy on his missions to save the world. The 10th book in Horowitz’s Rider collection, Never Say Die, was published today.

Eleventh Hour is currently developing the idea with ITV, and is also in discussion with international partners. The plan is to create a long-running series that’s re-imagined as an older-skewing family event drama. The adaptation will look to open the adult storylines to deliver a character-driven series that pushes the boundaries of the genre.

Individual seasons will cover one book, beginning with 2001’s second in the series, Point Blanc (the first, Stormbreaker, was made into a 2006 film starring Alex Pettyfer). The Alex Rider novels have collectively sold over 16M copies worldwide in English versions, and have been published in a further 28 languages.

Burt, whose credits include Bletchley Circle and The Borgias, won a BAFTA Children’s Award for Harriet’s Army in 2015.

Eleventh Hour has been ramping up its new drama slate, recently attaching ’71 writer Gregory Burke to pen a contemporary adaptation of Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series. The company’s credits include Safe House, Foyle’s War and Collision for ITV, and New Blood for BBC One.