Teen superspy Alex Rider is heading to the small screen after Sony’s international production and distribution divisions teamed up to greenlight an eight-episode series.

Sony Pictures Television’s International Production and Worldwide Distribution divisions have teamed up together for the first time to pick up an original spec series. They are working with British indie Eleventh Hour Films, which optioned the screen rights to Horowitz’s novels last year.

The novels, written by Foyle’s War creator Anthony Horowitz, chart the adventures of a reluctant teen superspy on his missions to save the world. The twelfth book in the Alex Rider series, Nightshade, is due to be published in 2019; the books have sold over 19 million copies and are particularly popular among young adult male readers. Alex Rider was previously adapted as a feature film in 2006 with The Weinstein Company.

The television adaptation does not currently have a broadcaster attached, although British commercial broadcaster ITV was previously involved. The series will be written by The Borgias and The Hole writer Guy Burt and will begin with Point Blanc, the second book in the series. EHF’s Eve Gutierrez and Jill Green will executive produce the TV series alongside Horowitz and Burt.

It is the latest deal between Sony Pictures Television and Eleventh Hour Films, after the pair recently announced development of UFO drama series Rendlesham.

“We identified Alex Rider some time ago as we were looking for the right project to take this leap, and we’re thrilled it has come together as our very first spec series,” said SPT’s Wayne Garvie, President, International Production. Keith Le Goy, President, Worldwide Distribution and Networks, added, “This is a big-brand property with a passionate following, and with Guy’s fantastic writing and the talented team at EHF, we are pleased to be bringing these gripping stories to life and making a unique show that will appeal to young-adults.”

Horowitz added, “So many Alex Rider fans have been asking me when he would be returning to the screen – and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s finally happening. Guy Burt has perfectly captured the danger and excitement of the books and I’m sure the series will have universal appeal.”

Gutierrez, who is Head of Talent at EHF, said, “With the television landscape evolving so rapidly it feels like the perfect moment to be partnering with SPT on Alex Rider and even more exciting that it will be their first original commission. The combination of Guy Burt’s brilliant character-driven scripts and the legacy of Anthony Horowitz’s books gives us all the ingredients for a truly distinctive spy drama.”