Simon Pegg & Nick Frost developing TV adaptation of Rivers of London
Deadline has brought word that Simon Pegg (Star Trek Beyond) and Nick Frost (Into the Badlands) are teaming up once again to develop a TV adaptation of the bestselling fantasy novel Rivers of London through their production company Stolen Picture.
Based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ben Aaronovitch, the story follows Police Constable Peter Grant as he is recruited to a small branch of the Metropolitan Police after encountering a ghost and becoming a wizard’s apprentice, during which he must solve supernatural-driven crimes including ordinary people being possessed by an unknown entity and becoming vicious killers.
In an interview with Deadline, Frost recalled how he found the novel while on holiday years ago and was “chuffed to bits” that he was able to acquire the rights to develop it into a TV series, comparing their attempt at developing the modern fantasy novel to HBO’s mammoth hit adaptation of the bestselling George R. R. Martin fantasy series.
“Everyone wants to potentially find the next Game of Thrones and the chance to turn Rivers of London into an eight-hour movie and hopefully find someone who will financially back that is a real draw,” Frost said.
Pegg, who has become more of a film star since his days on the acclaimed British sitcom Spaced, discussed how he believed that the small screen industry has evolved over the years to tell stories in ways previously only thought could be done on film.
“A lot of books that are made into film are criticized for not being as good as the book, because they are contracted into something more simplistic,” Pegg said. “But what TV offers us now, which is a cinematic playing field, you can tell these stories with scope and get into creative detail.”
Prior to writing the novel series, Aaronovitch is well-known for his work writing two Doctor Who serials for BBC in the late ’80s and writing their subsequent novelizations, in addition to three other spin-off novels of the acclaimed sci-fi franchise. The 55-year-old writer revealed that attempts have been made before to acquire the rights to his novels and adapt the story, but due to problems with studios attempting changes to the story, he was hesitant to sell the rights until Pegg and Frost came along.
“I feel confident on several levels. I’m working with creators and I know these people don’t like bollocks,” Aaronovitch said. “[Simon and Nick] are tremendous nerds and I don’t have to explain things to do them about magic, they just get it. we have a common language, which we don’t have in a lot of TV companies.”
Pegg and Frost are working closely with Aaronovitch in the current development phase, with the first season set to adapt the first novel into eight to ten episodes and the trio mentioning that potential future seasons may combine multiple novels into one.