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Eleventh Hour spies Alex Rider adaptation

The UK production company behind Foyle’s War is developing Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling Alex Rider novels for TV with a local broadcaster.

Anthony Horowitz

The books, about the adventures of a reluctant teenage superspy on missions to save the world, are being developed by Eleventh Hour Films (EHF) with ITV in the UK.

The adaptation will be penned by screenwriter Guy Burt (Bletchley Circle, The Borgias), with plans for each season to cover one Alex Rider book, beginning with Point Blanc, which was published in 2000.

Burt will re-imagine the series as a long-running, older-skewing family event drama, “opening out the adult storylines to deliver a character-driven series that pushes the boundaries of the genre,” EHF said.

Horowitz created Foyle’s War, which Eleventh made for ITV, and has sold more than 16 million copies of his Alex Rider books worldwide in the English language alone, while they have been published in a further 28 languages. The latest in the series is released in the UK today.

Never Say Die is published today

“I’m thrilled that work on a television adaptation of Alex Rider has coincided so perfectly with the release of the new novel, Never Say Die,” said the author. “Guy is cleverly expanding the characters whilst staying true to the spirit of the original novels to ensure that the series will appeal to both loyal fans and a new generation of viewers.”

“The dangers are genuine, the themes topical and the longform television format gives me licence to go deeper into the world of Alex and the characters that surround him,” said Burt.

Eve Gutierrez, executive producer at EHF, added: “Re-versioning such a successful set of novels for TV is no small feat, but with audiences looking for bigger and bolder dramas that provide true cinematic experiences, this feels like the perfect moment for the brand.”

EHF said that, as well as developing the idea with ITV, it is also in discussions with “a number” of international partners.

Last month EHF picked up the rights to Ian Rankin’s best-selling Rebus detective novels and hired a screenwriter to adapt them for TV, and earlier in the year hired a new head of development following a senior management restructure.

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