EXCLUSIVE: Black Bear Pictures, the team behind Benedict Cumberbatch feature film The Imitation Game, is heading back to Bletchley Park – this time for the small screen.
The company’s television division has optioned the rights to Kate Quinn’s novel The Rose Code and is developing it as a scripted TV series.
The book, which was published by William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins earlier this month and which Black Bear Television won in a competitive situation, tells the World War II story of three female codebreakers at Bletchley Park. It is currently number three on the New York Times bestseller list.
As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to a mysterious country estate, Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Through their friendship, these women find the strength to survive war, loss, heartbreak, and the impossible pressure of secrecy. Navigating two distinct timelines, the novel is blend of history, romance, friendship, espionage and mystery, all with the life-or-death stakes and ticking clock of World War II.
Quinn is the author behind The Empress of Rome saga and two books in The Bordia Chronicles, as well as The Huntress and The Alice Network, which is currently set up at Warner Bros for development as a limited series.
Black Bear, which produced the Morten Tyldum-directed film The Imitation Game, has been stepping up its involvement in television. Last year, it signed a deal with Crazy Heart writer-director Scott Cooper to develop a limited drama series based on Angels & Demons and optioned the TV rights to Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times and Mary Kubica’s Local Woman Missing: A Novel.
The deal was brokered by Michael Heimler of Black Bear and Lucy Stille of Lucy Stille Literary on behalf of Kevan Lyon at The Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Black Bear’s Head of TV Ben Stillman said, “We were lucky enough to be a part of and witness to the incredible impact The Imitation Game had on audiences. We are excited to bring people back into the world of Bletchley Park, told through the fresh perspective of The Rose Code. Kate Quinn has written a timely and timeless novel that is both a war epic and a character-driven story of female friendships and romances. This story is The Imitation Game meets The Crown and we are excited to bring this thrilling historical tale to the screen.”
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