BBC Studios is developing a TV adaptation of the Runestaff fantasy novels by Michael Moorcock. The Good Omens producer has secured the rights to four books in the series: The Jewel in the Skull, The Mad God’s Amulet, Sword of the Dawn and The Runestaff. 

It is the latest high-profile fantasy adaptation for the production arm of the British public broadcaster after Deadline revealed that it was remaking The Watch, based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, for BBC America.

The books tell the story of a resistance force trying to bring down tyrannical rule and follow Hawkmoon, whose journey takes him from ghost-cities in the Syrian desert to pirate colonies in the American bayou; from caravans of mutant creatures in Carpathian mountains to the heart of the Dark Empire itself – the glittering city of Londra where the river runs blood red.

The Runestaff series being written by Sherlock and Doctor Who writer Steve Thompson, executive produced by Broadchurch and Torchwood producer Richard Stokes and Life on Mars producer John Yorke.

Moorcock said, “I am delighted that BBC Studios is developing the Runestaff series for TV. I believe the team will do an outstanding job and I’m looking forward to seeing Hawkmoon, Count Brass and Yisselda brought to the screen.  This is a perfect time for the series, which seems more relevant today than it did when I originally wrote it. I will be working closely with the writers to develop the stories.  I feel like a schoolboy, breathlessly waiting for the first episode to be aired.”

Thompson added, “The Runestaff novels were the first books that captured my imagination. It’s a privilege and a great adventure to be working with Michael Moorcock. I feel like I’ve just been handed the keys to the crown jewels of fantasy fiction.”