EXCLUSIVE: The Crown producer Left Bank is developing a TV adaptation of Paul Sussman’s archeological thriller novels The Khalifa Mysteries.
The Sony-owned company is developing a small-screen adaptation of the books with Simon Allen, who is writing BBC America’s The Watch and has written on series including Sky and Cinemax co-pro Strike Back and The Musketeers.
The books have been described as the “intelligent reader’s answer to The Da Vinci Code.” The series of novels consists of four books, The Lost Army of Cambyses, The Last Secret of the Temple, The Labyrinth of Osiris and The Hidden Oasis.
They mix the modern-day police procedural with archaeological mysteries. The first book, The Lost Army of Cambyses, mixes the 523 BC disappearance of an army with Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police’s investigation into three seemingly unrelated murders. The Last Secret of the Temple explores the murder of Dutch archaeologist Piet Jansen and age-old religious treasure smuggled to the castle of Castelombres and the whereabouts of aged Nazi sympathizers, The Hidden Oasis flips between 2152 BC Egypt and 1988 USSR with the disappearance of a plane from a recently decommissioned nuclear research facility, while The Labyrinth of Osiris features a gruesome murder in Jerusalem’s Armenian Cathedral.
Sussman, who died in 2012, was an interesting character; in addition to writing these books, he worked as a gravedigger in France, sold cigars in Harrods and toured Europe as Aunt Sponge in a production of James and the Giant Peach before he began writing.
Left Bank is currently preparing for the launch of the third season of The Crown, with Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth, in November and is in production of the fourth season. It is also producing Quiz, based on the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating scandal, for AMC and ITV, feature-length drama Sitting In Limbo for the BBC, and two further dramas for Netflix: White Lines, from Money Heist creator Álex Pina, and Behind Her Eyes, adaptation of Sarah Pinborough’s psychological thriller.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.