Neil Gaiman Will Adapt The GORMENGHAST Fantasy Novels as a Series with Akiva Goldsman
Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, The Dark Tower) are teaming up to adapt the fantasy novel series Gormenghast into a TV show for FremantleMedia North America, who just secured the rights to the property.
The series consists of five books that were written by Mervyn Peake and the story follows the inhabitants of Castle Gormenghast, "a sprawling, decaying, gothic-like structure with a raft of characters including Titus, the heir to the throne of the House of Groan, scheming kitchen boy Steerpike and twin sisters Cora and Clarice."
The BBC actually adapted the first two books in the series, Titus Groan and Gormenghast, as a four-part series back in 2000 with actors Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Christopher Lee. I'm not really familiar with the books or the story, but it sounds like it could be a great series that fantasy fans can enjoy and it's a great project for Gaiman and Goldsman to be a part of. They have the talent to steer it in the right direction. Gaiman had this to say in a statement:
"There is nothing in literature like Mervyn Peake’s remarkable Gormenghast novels. They were crafted by a master, who was also an artist, and they take us to an ancient castle as big as a city, with heroes and villains and people larger than life that are impossible to forget. There is a reason why there were two trilogies that lovers of the fantasy genre embraced in the Sixties: Lord of the Rings, and the Gormenghast books. It’s an honor to have been given the opportunity to help shepherd Peake’s brilliant and singular vision to the screen."
Dante Di Loreto, President of Scripted Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America added:
“Nothing combines a dark atmosphere with humor and intrigue the way that Gormenghast does. It’s one of the most eccentric and vividly imagined universes ever created. We’re excited to continue our relationship with Neil and the producing team assembled for this project is ideal to explore the series’ perfect mix of humor, pathos and tragedy.”
Fabian Peake, son of Mervyn and executor of the Peake estate said:
“We are tremendously excited by the prospect of seeing the Gormenghast books realized for television. This venture presents a unique opportunity to explore the imagination of a multi-faceted artist.”
Everyone involved seems pretty excited about it. Hopefully they are able to deliver a great series that the fans of the books will enjoy and appreciate. Here's a description of the book series and the story that it tells.
A doomed lord, a scheming underling, an ancient royal family plagued by madness and intrigue - these are the denizens of ancient, sprawling, tumbledown Gormenghast Castle. Within its vast halls and serpentine corridors, the members of the Groan dynasty and their master Lord Sepulchrave grow increasingly out of touch with a changing world as they pass their days in unending devotion to meaningless rituals and arcane traditions. Meanwhile, an ambitious kitchen boy named Steerpike rises by devious means to the post of Master of the Ritual while he maneuvers to bring down the Groans. Breathtaking in its power and drenched in dark atmosphere, humor and intrigue, The Gormenghast Novels is a classic, one of the great works of 20th century British literature.
Are you excited about Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman coming on board to develop the Gormenghast novels into a series?