Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

Susanna Clarke's 'Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell' Will Be A BBC Series

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 30, 2012 at 10:19AM

I'm not a fantasy fiction buff by any stretch, but in 2004 it was hard to ignore the mammoth accomplishment of Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell." A wildly original and inventive epic, running nearly 800 pages, the work was one of the few to crossover to the mainstream, becoming a critical darling and a best-seller. Its dazzling weaving together of history, magic, romance and more (combined with David Foster Wallace style footnotes) made it one of the most unique reading experiences in a long time. It would no doubt be a difficult text to adapt, but BBC is going to give it a try.
0
Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell

I'm not a fantasy fiction buff by any stretch, but in 2004 it was hard to ignore the mammoth accomplishment of Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell." A wildly original and inventive epic, running nearly 800 pages, the work was one of the few to crossover to the mainstream, becoming a critical darling and a best-seller. Its dazzling weaving together of history, magic, romance and more (combined with David Foster Wallace style footnotes) made it one of the most unique reading experiences in a long time. It would no doubt be a difficult text to adapt, but BBC is going to give it a try.

Peter Harness ("Wallander") will be penning a six-part series based on the book, and that may be the best way to tackle the story. We'll do our best to summarize: in the early 1800s, magic is thought to have died out when Gilbert Norrell appears and stuns folks by praticing the dark art. The younger Jonathan Strange becomes his pupil and they both rise in fame until an ugly, very public split that pits them against each other. Now toss in the Napoleanic Wars, another subplot set in a parallel fairy world and now you can see why this is a tricky one to tackle. Deadline's report seems to suggest it will focus on Strange and Norrell's magic battles during the war, which makes up a good chunk of the book, but we hope some space is left for other story elements as well. Toby Haynes ("Doctor Who," "Sherlock") will wrangle it all in the director's chair.

An attempt was made by New Line to bring to the big screen with a script by Christopher Hampton ("A Dangerous Method," "Atonement") back in 2005/2006, and he did turn in a draft for a single movie but we can't imagine how that would've worked without gutting a lot of Clarke's story. Julian Fellowes was apparently going to take a stab at it but then New Line collapsed and their option ran out. Frankly, this format is the best way to go and given that 'Strange' is exceedingly English in both its language (the book uses a lot of archaic argot to often humorous effect) and manners, the BBC is a good fit. This is one work that is certainly beloved by many and folks will be watching closely. There are a lot of ways for it to south, but the material is so good that even if it gets it 75% right it could be a great piece ot television. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell, Television, TV News


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates