The production outfit will reimagine The Long Call as a four-part series for ITV, with Des and Baptiste writer Kelly Jones penning the drama in what will be her first standalone series.
The Long Call was published last year and is the first in a series of Two Rivers novels set in the English county of Devon. It follows detective Matthew Venn as he returns to an evangelical community in which he grew up to attend his father’s funeral.
He is soon embroiled in the investigation of a murder close to his new home when the body of a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck is found on the beach. It draws Venn back into a community where murder and intrigue bubble beneath the surface, all set against the stunning backdrop of Devon’s coastline.
ITV drama head Polly Hill said The Long Call is “very different” to Vera and will be a “distinctive and original” addition to the broadcaster’s crime slate. Silverprint Pictures’ creative director Kate Bartlett added that it will be “event crime drama.”
Bartlett is executive producing, while Angie Daniell (Vera) is the producer. Lee Haven Jones (Doctor Who, Shetland) is directing. ITV Studios will distribute internationally.
The Long Call represents Silverprint’s third collaboration with Cleeves after it has also worked with the writer on BBC series Shetland, which has run for six seasons. Vera first launched in 2011 and Season 11 has been filming this fall.