Harry Potter and Cinderella producer David Barron is lining up his first long form TV drama with an adaptation of acclaimed 2018 detective novel A Treachery Of Spies, a historical thriller which starts with a murder in 1940s WWII France and unfurls its mysteries into the present day with a brilliant but haunted female detective as the lead.
Barron’s London-based BeaglePug outfit and UK firm Enriched Media have secured all TV, film and ancillary rights to the bestseller and the companies say they are in talks with U.S. and UK players for the TV rights.
The companies acquired the adaptation rights to Manda Scott’s novel from Emily Hayward Whitlock at The Artists Partnership working in association with Robert Caskie at Robert Caskie Ltd.
A Treachery of Spies is the second of Scott’s espionage thriller trilogy to feature female Detective Inspector Inès Picaut and will be the first to be adapted.
Here’s the official synopsis: A body has been found. The elderly victim’s identity has been cleverly obscured, but one thing is clear: she has been killed in the manner of traitors to the Resistance in World War Two. To find answers in the present, Picaut must look to the past; to 1940s France, a time of sworn allegiances and broken promises, where the men and women of the Resistance fought for survival against Nazi invaders. But, as Picaut soon discovers, there are those in the present whose futures depend on the past remaining buried, and who will kill to keep their secrets safe. Old fashioned espionage might be a thing of the past, but treachery is as dangerous as ever.
The novel was first published by Transworld Publishers, a division of Penguin Random House, in 2018 and won the prestigious Mcilvanney Prize for Best Crime Novel in 2019.
Veteran Brit producer Barron said, “Seeing the impact of the crime through the eyes of Inès, an ordinary woman with unique skills, only highlights how extraordinary the events were. I’m thrilled to be adapting this wholly distinctive piece of European IP for the global market.
Barron was a producer on six of the Harry Potter movies and has also produced movies including Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Disney’s Cinderella and Warner Bros features The Legend Of Tarzan and Mowgli.
“During these increasingly challenging and difficult times, we’re more aware than ever of the importance of innovative storytelling”, added Enriched Media Group producer and co-founder Mick Southworth. “Manda Scott’s painstaking and thorough research has enabled her to create a gripping, thrill-packed drama with a unique female protagonist solving a crime through two distinct historical periods and takes a close look at the world not dissimilar from our own through the history, the players, the victories and the spoils.”
The Enriched Media Group principals were executive producers and financiers on Paul Schrader’s First Reformed and are currently in post-production on features A Gift From Bob and Point Of Change. They recently partnered with BeaglePug on Daniel Radcliffe starrer Escape From Pretoria.