Showtime is developing a series based on author Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels, with Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman among the executive producers. The project has a script-to-series order and is opening a writers room under creator and showrunner Toby Whithouse (Being Human, Doctor Who). Showtime will co-produce Gormenghast with Fremantle. Whithouse, Gaiman, Goldsman, Dante Di Loreto, Oliver Jones, Barry Spikings (The Deer Hunter) and David Stern (Howards End) are the executive producers.
The series will be based on Peake’s trilogy of fantasy novels: Titus Groan, first published in 1946, Gormenghast and Titus Alone. The author was at work on a fourth installment, Titus Awakes, at the time of his death in 1968. His widow, Maeve Gilmore, completed the book, which was published in 2011. Rights were acquired from Jonathan Sissons at PFD.
It marks the first television adaptation of the books since the BBC adapted the first two books – Titus Groan and Gormenghast – as a four-part series in 2000 with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Christopher Lee starring.
Showtime was able to board the adaptation – the latest big-budget fantasy drama to be in the works – as it falls outside of Gaiman’s overall deal with Amazon. He told Deadline that he wanted to “take it to wherever will be the best home for it”.