Kudos has preemptively acquired TV adaptation rights to the forthcoming Wuthering Heights companion book, Ill Will. Author Michael Stewart’s story answers the question of what happened to Heathcliff, Emily Brontë’s enigmatic anti-hero who disappears mid-way through her 1847 classic. Kudos is developing a drama series to be executive produced by the company’s Emma Kingsman-Lloyd and Diederick Santer.

A neo-gothic novel, Ill Will offers up the missing piece of the puzzle about Wuthering Heights‘ tortured romantic: Where does Heathcliff, the ‘uncouth stable boy,’ go when he disappears from the moors halfway through the story? And what happened to him that he should return three years later a stupendously wealthy and educated man, primed to take revenge upon the Earnshaw family?

Billed as an epic journey, the drama series will explore the new narrative in combination with Brontë’s enduring work.

Kudos’ Kingsman-Lloyd says, “Heathcliff has always been a powerfully alluring figure. Michael Stewart’s brilliantly atmospheric and clever story gives us a provocative and profound insight into this well-loved hero and answers the question that has haunted fans for generations. I am delighted we are finally able to bring Heathcliff’s full, remarkably compelling story to life.”

Ill Will will be published on March 22 by HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins. Stewart’s other credits include the award-winning play Karry Owky and novel, King Crow. The TV rights deal for Ill Will was signed by Sue Swift, Head of Literary Acquisitions for Kudos.

Broadchurch and Gunpowder producer Kudos currently has Troy: Fall Of A City in production for BBC One and Netflix as well as new seasons of Channel 4/AMC series Humans and Sky Atlantic/Amazon’s Tin Star.