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FremantleMedia to take Narrow Road

FremantleMedia Australia has picked up the rights to adapt Australian author Richard Flanagan’s Man Booker Prize-winning war novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North for television.

First published in 2013, Flanagan’s epic novel follows five stages of life of Australian soldier Dorrigo Evans, centring on his experiences as a prisoner of war forced to help construct the Burma “death” Railway during the Second World War.

FremantleMedia Australia will produce the series, which comes after the company’s recent coproduction with HBO that reimagined Joan Lindsay’s novel Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Jo Porter, director of drama at FremantleMedia Australia, said Flanagan’s novel was “ripe for screen adaptation with huge visual potential and scale.” She added that the company was proud to be adapting the novel and was confident it would “resonate with audiences all around the world.”

Commenting on the announcement, Flanagan said he was pleased to see his novel become a “major international TV series” that he hopes will promise “the quality, the depth and the occasional brilliance of which the form is now capable.”

The Narrow Road to the Deep North becomes the latest novel to be adapted by FremantleMedia, joining Picnic at Hanging Rock and the company’s forthcoming reworking of Elena Ferrante’s bestseller My Brilliant Friend, a commission by HBO and Rai in Italy and produced by FremantleMedia label Wildside.

Most recently, the company agreed a deal with author Robert Harris to adapt his Munich novel, which is being produced by FremantleMedia-owned Euston Films and UFA Fiction.

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