The Pursuit Of Love executive producer Charles Collier has revealed that his production outfit Open Book and Moonage Pictures are planning to make three seasons of the buzzy Lily James period drama.
The adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s classic novel is a co-production between the BBC and Amazon, and Collier told a Mipcom Online+ event on Monday that his aim is also to bring the author’s two sequel books to the screen.
“It’s part of a trilogy of books. We hope to bring the books to life in future seasons, so The Pursuit Of Love Season 2 would be called Love In A Cold Climate based on a brilliant book by Nancy. The third book would become our third season, Don’t Tell Alfred,” he explained.
The Emily Mortimer-penned and -directed project follows James as free-spirited aristocrat Linda, who falls in love, first with a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice. Emily Beecham features as Linda’s best friend and cousin Fanny Logan and the story is largely seen through her eyes.
Fanny is central to Mitford’s second and third novels, but Collier said the first book’s “extraordinary characters continue to circle around the place.” Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif and Freddie Fox also star in Season 1.
Speaking at the Mipcom showcase, organized by The Pursuit Of Love sales house BBC Studios, Mortimer said she wanted the 1930s-set series to subvert period drama conventions, revealing that she drew inspiration from Sofia Coppola’s 2006 feature Marie Antoinette.
“I don’t want this to feel like a period drama that’s made now about the 1930s. I want it to feel like a French film that’s made in 1965 or something, I want it to feel cool and sexy. I kept sending Lily videos of Anna Karenina doing funny dances and made them all watch A Bout de Souffle and Jules et Jim,” she said.
“Sofia Coppola’s films I kept watching as well, particularly Marie Antoinette, which is so brilliant because it is a period film but you don’t have the feeling that you’ve watched a period film when you finish it. You feel like you’ve watched a film about a girl living in extraordinary circumstances at a certain time. It feels fresh, live, and exciting. She doesn’t play by any rules at all — you’re in this bucolic, beautiful period movie and suddenly the Strokes start playing or she’s wearing Converse trainers underneath her huge crinolines running down the hallway. That was inspiring to me.”
The Pursuit Of Love will premiere in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer, while Amazon will stream the series in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Distributor BBC Studios brokered the deal with Amazon. Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady are executive producers, while Rhonda Smith is the producer.