Sky and Peacock are forging a TV adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal with Top Boy showrunner Ronan Bennett attached.
Described as a “contemporary reimagining of the beloved and respected novel,” Universal International Studios label Carnival Films’ adaptation in association with Sky Studios is the first TV rework, following Fred Zinnemann’s BAFTA-winning film 50 years ago. Production will begin next summer.
The Day of the Jackal is one of the most well known and respected British novels of the 20th century. It follows a professional assassin who is contracted by a French paramilitary dissident to kill French President Charles de Gaulle. The novel is split into three parts: ‘Anatomy of a Plot,’ ‘Anatomy of a Manhunt’ and ‘Anatomy of a Kill.’
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Game of Thrones’ Brian Kirk will direct with Irish creative Bennett writing and showrunning. Bennett has achieved worldwide acclaim with Top Boy, the Netflix series about drugs and gang violence in London.
Carnival exec Gareth Neame said the adaptation will “retain the pan-European setting and play to the strengths of episodic television in this fast paced, intelligent international thriller with the story of an assassin and the race to stop him still at the heart of the action.”
Lis Katz, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming President of Scripted Content, added: “We’re excited to adapt this internationally recognized classic into an updated, timely, political thriller. Shepherded by novelist and showrunner Ronan Bennett and Carnival, this action-packed high-stakes drama is sure to be an edge-of-your seat adventure for Peacock audiences.”
Gabriel Silver, Sam Hoyle and Zai Bennett are commissioners. Neame is exec producing with Nigel Marchant, original author Forsyth is consulting producer and Christopher Hall is producer. Peacock takes U.S. rights, Sky has UK and some European nations and NBCUniversal Global Distribution will distribute elsewhere.
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