J.K. Rowling Takes Over the BBC

Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images
Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

J.K. Rowling seems almost more busy since ending her best-selling and beloved modern children’s and young adult fantasy classic, the Harry Potter series, and her latest project suggests the author is forging screen adaptation ties not only with Warner Bros., the studio behind the Harry Potter films, but also with the BBC. The author has just announced plans for her second BBC adaptation for the Cormoran Strike series of detective novels she writes under the pen name Robert Galbraith, Deadline reports.

The books are about a war veteran named Cormoran Strike who comes back from Afghanistan after losing a leg in the war and becomes a private investigator. In the first book, Cuckoo’s Calling, Strike is down on his luck, living out of his office, and has only one client after a man asks him to investigate the alleged suicide of a supermodel that he believes wasn’t a suicide at all. In the second novel, The Silkworm, Strike seeks to find the missing author of a tell-all book. Rowling has said that the series will likely continue for more than seven books, which will make it longer than the Harry Potter series.

The details about the TV show are yet to be worked out, Deadline said, but given that the book series will continue for awhile a more traditional ongoing television format would make more sense than an anthology show or miniseries. Rowling, who has always been very hands-on with the film adaptations of her fiction, will collaborate on the project with the BBC and producers Brontë Film and TV.

Rowling has continued to write since ending the Harry Potter series with the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, back in 2007. Her first non-Harry Potter book, the novel The Casual Vacancy, was published in 2012 and instantly shot to the top of the bestseller list. It was also Rowling’s first book for adults, following the city council in a small U.K. town called Pagford, and what happens when a seat on the council is left open after one of the councillors dies. Social class issues and poverty and online privacy are major topics broached in the book.

It was announced early this summer that The Casual Vacancy was to be adapted into a TV miniseries for both the BBC and HBO, with Michael Gambon set to star. Gambon is best known to Rowling fans for portraying Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise from The Prisoner of Azkaban onward. The three-part miniseries is set to air on BBC One in February.

Meanwhile Rowling is continuing to work on the screenplays for her Harry Potter spinoff films Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which she’s doing with Harry Potter studio Warner Bros. The planned trilogy will be about the “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, who studies the various magical beasts in the Harry Potter universe based in New York City over 70 years before Harry attends Hogwarts. This will be Rowling’s first time writing screenplays, and having her do them ensures that new Harry Potter lore comes straight from the creator.

If all these projects seem exciting, but just too far away, among Rowling’s many projects the author has promised that for Christmas she will be releasing new Harry Potter related writing on the fansite Pottermore.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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