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Gaumont UK saddles up Sixteen Horses

The UK arm of Narcos producer Gaumont has picked up Sixteen Horses, the debut novel of author Greg Buchanan, for adaptation as a TV drama series.

Greg Buchanan

Sixteen Horses is published by Mantle Books/Pan Macmillan and set for release in the UK on April 29 and in the US on July 20 via Flatiron Books.

Gaumont UK pursued the book for two years after seeing the first chapter in 2018 and won the rights to the story following a competitive bid.

The drama development is being led by Gaumont UK CEO and executive producer Alison Jackson (Tin Star, Ashes to Ashes, Hunted) and its senior development exec, Jamie Jackson.

The thriller is set in a small British seaside community the rest of the world has left behind. Following the discovery of 16 horses’ heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the sun, a local police detective and forensic veterinarian soon uncover evidence of a chain of crimes in the community

Alison Jackson

Buchanan said: “So many of my influences in writing Sixteen Horses were from television and cinema – Don’t Look Now, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Blue Velvet and True Detective – that I’m fascinated to see how the novel’s dark, existential atmosphere translates back on to screen.”

Jackson added: “Sixteen Horses is an utterly fascinating story, wonderfully written by Greg in a cinematic way that we believe will translate beautifully to the screen, and appeal to audiences both in the UK and globally. Gaumont UK is passionate about developing stories from a uniquely British perspective and discovering new voices, of which we have both in Sixteen Horses.”

The option deal further expands Gaumont UK’s diverse slate of original content, after it recently acquired the rights to Dressed For War: The Story of Audrey Withers, about the editor of Vogue from the Blitz to the Swinging Sixties.

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