Midnight in Peking hits the screen
A literary non-fiction book which charts a gruesome murder in China and was launched in Hong Kong is to be adapted into a 'major international TV mini-series' by the producers of Spooks, no less. Publisher Penguin has announced the sale of television serial rights to Paul French's Midnight in Peking to Kudos Television.
Time Out Hong Kong was at the launch of the book last year with French and there was already a buzz about it. However, it has gained more plaudits this year and the news will leave French, the chief economic analyst for Access Asia-Mintel who has six novels behind him already, beaming. In the book, he takes the case of Pamela Werner, mutilated in the Chinese capital in 1937, and ‘solves’ it, with a little help from archives he painstakingly unearthed in London.
Jo Lusby, managing director of Penguin China, who initially acquired the book for publication, says: “Midnight in Peking reveals a period of China’s recent international history that is largely ignored. With its jazz halls, opium dens and colourful cast of characters, this is a book that is ideally suited for television adaptation and I am thrilled that a company of the calibre of Kudos Television has taken it on with such commitment and enthusiasm."
Jane Featherstone, chief executive of Kudos Television, says: "We are incredibly excited about bringing this extraordinary story to screen. Midnight in Peking has the kind of scale and landscape rarely seen on television and our ambition is to create an outstanding, distinctive, mini-series made with the highest-profile talent and cinematic production values. This story is so immersive, layered, gripping and full of truly startling reveals that it naturally lends itself to the longer story format that television uniquely offers."
Already a number one bestseller in Asia, Midnight in Peking will be published by Penguin in the US on April 21, followed by the UK on May 31. Publishing rights have already been sold for the Italian and Norwegian languages. And that will please the French...