EXCLUSIVE: Studiocanal-owned Tandem Productions has attached Jayson Rothwell to adapt Ken Follett’s bestseller Code To Zero as an international event series. Rothwell (Silent Night) is currently penning feature film Zodiac for LeVision Pictures and has adventure comedy 40 Thieves set up at Fox. The eight-part Code To Zero, which was originally unveiled at Mipcom last year, will transfer the original 1950s Cold War setting to today’s global war on terrorism. Tandem MD Tim Halkin and Jim Gillespie are exec producing and international distribution goes through Studiocanal.
This marks the third collaboration between Follett and Tandem following 2010’s Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated The Pillars Of The Earth, starring Eddie Redmayne, Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland; and 2012’s World Without End, starring Cynthia Nixon, Charlotte Riley and Miranda Richardson, which picked up an Emmy for music.
Follett says Rothwell’s modernization of Code To Zero “makes my story even more relevant for our world as it is today, while at the same time protecting my characters and the essence of the story.”
Code To Zero was originally published in 2000 with the action taking place in 1958. The TV adaptation will push the setting forward and run on two separate, but converging, timelines. It follows protagonist Luke on a race-against-the-clock mission to regain his memory and stop what would be the most devastating global catastrophe to date. It will also show how his core group of peers, who hold enough information and power to alter the course of history, have transformed since the events of 9/11 — evolving from optimistic Harvard graduates into cynical pawns in a deadly espionage conspiracy. All the while, Luke will have to navigate a minefield of allies and foes — not knowing who he is, where he’s from, who’s after him, or why. Through new alliances and unexpected betrayals, he’ll come to discover that his survival does not rest on who he used to be, but on who he wants to become.
Rothwell is repped by WME.