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Cry prodco takes rights to Auschwitz drama

The Cry stars Victoria’s Jenna Coleman

The production company behind forthcoming BBC scripted series The Cry has acquired rights to Heather Morris’s novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which is already in development as a multi-part TV drama.

Synchronicity, which has a first-look deal with UK-based distributor DRG, has also attached Jacquelin Perske to adapt Morris’ best-selling book, which was first published in January by Bonnier Books imprints Echo and Zaffre.

Perske wrote the screenplay for Synchronicity’s BBC1 drama The Cry, which was adapted from the novel of the same name. The new show is set to be ready for broadcast in January 2020, to tie in with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

The novel has sold more than three-quarters of a million copies to date across the 32 countries where it is currently available and entered at number four in the New York Times bestseller lists in its first week of publication.

The true story follows a Jewish prisoner who found his true love while tattooing identification numbers on prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during the Second World War.

Claire Mundell, founder and creative director at Synchronicity Films, struck the deal for the book rights with CAA, representing Bonnier Books UK.

“We are beyond thrilled to have secured the rights to this incredibly brilliant, confronting and uplifting book,” said Mundell.

“I fell in love with it within a few pages and was desperate to bring it to the screen, to reach the widest audience possible for this unforgettable story. There was a huge amount of interest in this title and I am grateful that Heather Morris, Bonnier Books UK and CAA responded so well to our vision for the story.”

Kate Parkin, MD of adult trade at Bonnier Books UK, described the novel as “a deeply personal story, with universal themes of courage, love and survival.”

“Synchronicity Films was committed to this book from our very first conversation; they had a clear strategy and fully embraced the responsibilities of bringing this story to the small screen,” she said.

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Format Awards 2019
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