EXCLUSIVE: The BBC is developing a TV adaptation of buzzy Canadian novel The Listeners from Normal People producer Element Pictures.
Although not yet greenlit, Deadline understands the show is in a relatively advanced stage. The Listeners author Jordan Tannahill is adapting for TV and Janicza Bravo, whose past credits include Zola, Mrs America and Them, is directing.
Published last summer, The Listeners follows a woman who, lying in bed next to her husband one night, hears a low hum that he cannot. This innocuous noise begins causing Claire Devon headaches, nosebleeds and insomnia, gradually upsetting the balance of her life, though no obvious source or medical cause can be found. When she discovers that a student of hers can also hear the hum, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship, and start a community.
Tannahill is a Canadian author, playwright, filmmaker and theater director whose past novels include Liminal, an autofiction book about a man reckoning with the nature of consciousness. His VR performance Draw Me Close made Venice competition in 2017.
The development is the latest buzzy book being adapted by the BBC, which is also working on a TV version of Yomi Adegoke’s The List with HBO Max and A24, revealed earlier this year by Deadline.
Meanwhile, and alongside A24, Fremantle-owned Normal People and The Favourite producer Element is also working on Shane Meadows period drama The Gallows Pole for the BBC.
The BBC declined to comment on The Listeners.
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