Bestselling author J.K. Rowling followed her mega-successful Harry Potter era with the sprawling adult novel The Casual Vacancy and the shocking reveal that she also penned a detective novel written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. That book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and its follow-up The Silkworm have been acquired by the BBC, who will turn them into a high-profile TV series. Smart British pseudo-noir on a weekly basis? Yes please.
There doesn’t appear to be a title for the series, which seems likely to just take on the name of the novels’ central character Cormoran Strike. A war veteran who lost a leg in Afghanistan, Strike dives headfirst into the world of private investigating, with a professional dry spell broken by a man named John Bristow, whose supermodel sister Lula Landry made headlines with her recent suicide. Only, Bristow says it wasn’t a suicide at all, and he wants Strike to investigate. Enter a revolving door of models, musicians and lawyers as Strike makes his way through a world of greed, sex and grandeur. Not a bad place to be when you’ve recently become single like he has.
The second book, The Silkworm, involves Strike trying to find a recently disappeared novelist whose latest manuscript is a thin masquerade of a tell-all, involving rape, cannibalism and necrophilia. I can’t wait to see this make it to my TV screen, assuming that doesn’t instantly get me judged harshly.
This news goes against previous assumptions that the books would see a path toward cinema, as The Cuckoo’s Calling became a hot Hollywood commodity for a while, though nothing ever became of it. U.K. series are often the perfect length for book adaptations, so that sounds like a much better fit than a feature film ever would have been. Assuming they get the right actor to play Strike, that is. With the wrong person leading this, I think I’d rather just have a movie.
According to Deadline, BBC One will be airing the drama across the pond, which means someone in the U.S. needs to get on this immediately. The BBC is working with HBO in adapting The Casual Vacancy, so it’s not out of the question that a second collaboration with the premium cable network might happen. Otherwise, this seems like the kind of material that AMC would eat up. I’d say PBS, but that doesn’t seem likely.
J.K. Rowling will be a part of the process, though it’s not clear if her role will be one of executive producer or even possibly a screenwriter. (Also not likely.) She’s currently also working on new Harry Potter stories and bringing Fantastic Beasts to the big screen. Are you guys excited to see the non-wizarding world of Cormoran Strike making its way to the small screen?