Entire Costa series optioned for TV

I’m delighted, as you might imagine, to be able to pass on this news release from my literary agency Blake Friedmann…

The Blake Friedmann Agency is pleased to announce that a deal has been signed between David Hewson and Bavaria Media Italia for all eleven of Hewson’s contemporary crime novels based in Italy.

Bavaria Media Italia optioned screen rights in order to develop and produce a major international series of six television movies. The series is planned to be shot in English by Bavaria which will work in conjunction with co-production partners from several European territories. Bavaria’s Philipp Kreuzer will Executive Produce the series; Bavaria Media TV will handle international sales. The concept for the series is currently being written in Rome.

The deal was negotiated for Hewson by Conrad Williams of Blake Friedmann’s Film/TV department and for Bavaria by Philipp Kreuzer and legal counsel Georg Hoess.

Said David Hewson: “It is enormously flattering to have eleven of your books snapped up for option in one swoop and with such high ambitions for English language, feature length TV dramas.  There is a lot of work to be done on a project of this magnitude. I am happy that it has already started.”

Bavaria plans to develop and partner this series in 2011 with production slated for 2012. It will be shot on location in and around central Rome.

I’m very grateful to Conrad Williams of Blake Friedmann for concluding this very wide-ranging agreement. Bavaria are one of the biggest media groups in Europe and have optioned all current ten books in the series, including two yet to be published titles, The Fallen Angel and next year’s The Plague Doctor. They have also optioned the standalone The Cemetery of Secrets (US Lucifer’s Shadow) which ties in with the fourth Costa book, The Lizard’s Bite. It’s particularly gratifying that, while these are destined to be English language productions, the initial interest came from Rome where, as the release says, the project will be based.

And quick answers to two questions I’m being asked already…

  • Will you write the scripts? No. I’m a novelist, not a scriptwriter, but I will be there to offer my thoughts if needed.
  • Who will play Costa, Teresa, Peroni… Sorry… far too early to say.

When there is more news I’ll happily pass it on.

32 thoughts on “Entire Costa series optioned for TV

  1. Christine

    David, my congratulations!!! It’s really wonderful news!!! I’m delighted to hear it. But on the other hand I’m afraid that the images of Costa, Teresa, Peroni, Falcone and other characters created by a reader in his or her mind can be so to speak… distorted. Though I’m sure you’ll be the most exacting critic as far as the casting is concerned.

  2. Whoever gets cast people will say ‘That’s not how I imagine them!’ But I’m happy to say those decisions are some way off. Scripts have to be written first among other things.

  3. Wonderful news! Congratulations. I’ve only just discovered Nic Costa and am reading the first book. Do you think you will have any say in the matter of casting? I’ve never had a whole book televised (let alone a series!) but when a short scene from one of my early books was used in a documentary I had no say whatsoever and it kept me awake at night agonizing over their choice of hero. He simply wasn’t how I’d created him. A more cynical novelist friend told me to be grateful for the money and let it go!Benita Brown

  4. Television and cinema are very specific media – I’d rather leave detail such as casting to the experts frankly. It’s hard enough getting these things together as it is without some author saying, ‘I don’t like the look of him.’ And as I said elsewhere whoever gets cast people will say, ‘That’s not the way I saw it.’

  5. Sylvia Cheevers

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see them….I’ve recommended all the Nic Costa books to loads of people and I always say this would be a fantastic tv series!

  6. Jan

    Fantastic news – Congratulations! Nic Costa and Roy Grace… the outlook for TV crime drama is definitely looking good!

  7. mandy

    At last something to look forward to on television.Absolutely love your books David and have every one of the Nic Costa series ,such a joy to lose oneself in the twists and turns of Italian crime.Thank you for all your hard work and look forward to many more great reads.

  8. David Hewson

    You’re not the first one to make this suggestion…. but honestly casting is a long way off, and given this is meant to be a series I’d suspect very well known actors might not want to make such a commitment. But who knows?

  9. Anita

    With a dizionario at hand, I read your books in 2 days. Heading back to Rome in a week and going straight to one of the Via Cenci restaurants. I actually love Piperno nearby. Deep fried artichokes I cannot wait! When I am in Venice I see a new layer of life there. Thank you for giving me new insight into my favourite travel destination. I am sure the series will be a great success.Anita.

  10. David Hewson

    Thanks – but you’ll actually find the restaurants around the corner from Cenci, around the Piazza delle Cinque Scuole and in the Via del Portico d’Ottavia.

  11. Cari

    Fabulous news…! Congratulations and Best Wishes! I just bought Fallen Angel yesterday afternoon and couldn’t put it down till I finished last night…(was a little tired today) But, it was so worth it. Well done again.

  12. Adrian

    I have read all of David’s books and after my 4th visit to Rome am still wandering around in a “Costa” haze hoping to run into Teresa or Peroni, et al, at some ice cream or coffee shop!I have got the perfect cast in mind. These characters have not altered one iota since I first read “A Season for the Dead”.Looking forward to whatever may eventuate.

  13. Thanks Adrian – you’ve no idea how nice it is to get kind comments like that from time to time. Writers are such dependent types. I’ve no idea who will eventually play the crew if this mammoth project comes together. But I’m in Rome on Thursday to discuss everything with the production company and will report back here when there is something concrete to say.Whoever plays them, though, I will be besieged by people telling me ‘they don’t look like that’ of course…. In books every readers creates his or her version of a character – which is how it should be.

  14. Adrian

    I have just finished "Fallen Angel". What a cracker! David, I'm no literary critic so therefore do not possess the array of superlatives ( like those annoying food critics) to describe my thoughts.Best to use the food analogy. " I just gulped it down in large amounts and it was delightful, your best dish yet"Oh! and now that the lovely Agata is firmly "in the frame', please, please don't leave it there.Just ONE MORE, please……….Adrian.

  15. David Hewson

    Well next year's book is a little different – but I wouldn't rule out a return for Agata some time down the line. Glad you enjoyed the book.

  16. Soo

    I'm severely disabled and listen to David's books thru Audible. I need to express my profound thanks to David for all the pleasure his books have given me, and continue to give me, on those long, long nights when pain prevents me from sleeping. If Carnival for the Dead was the last Italian one, then I, for one, shall be extremely sorry but will continue to buy David Hewson Audio (Macbeth and Semana Santa were just wonderful!). I hope that the forthcoming TV series will be put thru to DVD for those of us who don't have (or want) television? Best wishes for wherever next you are going to take us all in the world. Soo Davenport

  17. lisa connors

    I just finished A Season for the Dead. WOW! Loved it. I was really shocked toward the end. So happy to hear about the TV movies. This is great. I have been to Roma 2 times and you bring me back with every page. Thanks David.Today I start A Villa of Mystries. See you in Roma.

  18. Stephanie Kindred

    Congratulations and best of luck with the movies. It has to be a bit nerve wracking to see what changes will be made in the name of time constraints, flow and what have you in the movie business! The Costa Series is outstanding and the movies will be awaited with much excitement! I hope to see each and everyone of them as they are released! I just hope the depth of Italian flavor is as deep in the movies as it is in the novels!

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