Laurence Bowen’s London-based Dancing Ledge Productions has entered into a deal with publisher HarperCollins to adapt some, most or all novels of Alistair MacLean as mini-series to be shown on television. Each novel-to-television project will be structured as a four- or six-part mini-series.
HarperCollins owns the rights to bestselling author MacLean’s novels which also include The Guns Of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare. Each of those was previously turned into a feature. His books have sold over 150 million copies since 1955.
The first project under the pact is ‘San Andreas’, a thriller set on board a torpedoed WWII hospital ship. San Andreas sees the ailing ship attempt to make its way back across the North Atlantic to Scotland while a saboteur picks off members of the crew.
Bowen says, “I doubt there are many bookshelves in the UK that don’t have at least one Alistair MacLean thriller, so the opportunity to work with HarperCollins to adapt a number of them for screen is incredibly exciting. If you then add a writer with the talent of Tony Marchant to the mix, we have a wonderful marriage of nail-biting action and emotional complexity.”
Dancing Ledge was formed in June 2016 with backing from Fremantle Media (taking a 25% share) and a development deal with Martin Freeman. It is currently developing projects for several broadcasting channels and is working with Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Dr Who), Dan Sefton (Mr Selfridge), Guy Hibbert (Eye In The Sky) and Simon Block (Home Fires).