HBO Bringing Adaptation of J.K. Rowling's Crime Novels to North America

JK Rowling

J.K. Rowling seems to have the literary Midas Touch. The success of the Harry Potter series alone was enough to solidify her stature in the world of books and movies, but no good author rests on their laurels. Since the adventures of Harry Potter came to a close, the writer has been hard at work crafting additional stories, both inside the magical world she created, as in the smash play The Cursed Child and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and outside with her Cormoran Strike series.

Written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, Rowling has written three bestselling novels following the titular Cormoran Strike, a war veteran who opens a private investigation service with his partner/assistant Robin Ellacott. The series follows the traditional hard-nosed detective tropes in the vein of Sherlock Holmes or Philip Marlowe, updated for the modern world. Popular in its own right, the Cormoran Strike series will probably never quite stand outside the shadows of Rowling’s young adult sensation, but a new project is in the works that might help bring the character to an even larger audience.

Deadline confirms that HBO has partnered with BBC One to bring Cormoran Strike to U.S. and Canadian audiences next year in the form of three separate event series based on the first three novels. Tom Burke (Only God Forgives) has signed on to portray the one-legged detective in The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil, filming for which begins this fall. Writer Ben Richards (The Tunnel, MI-5) will be penning the scripts for The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm while Tom Edge (The Last Dragonslayer, Lovesick) will handle Career of Evil.

Tom Burke Cormoran Strike HBO
Tom Burke will portray Cormoran Strike.

The partnership between HBO and BBC builds off the relationship the two companies established with 2015’s The Casual Vacancy, adapted from another of Rowling’s works. It’s a unique distribution opportunity that allows BBC to make sure the content of the series doesn’t get squashed by typical American television standards.

Cormoran Strike, while not as graphic as, say, Game of Thrones, might present some problems with other North American television networks or cable channels. The HBO partnership is good news for fans of the series who might have been worried that the adaptation would lose some of its teeth. With HBO on board, you can bet that there won’t be any need to tone down any of the content.

The Cormoran Strike novels are a stark departure from Rowling’s better known series, but maintain the same level of wit and intrigue that made Harry Potter such a sensation with adults and kids alike. But Cormoran Strike is definitely no kid, and definitely doesn’t get into kid’s adventures. From the sounds of things, it seems as though the series are being treated in the same vein as Sherlock, appropriate given the similarities between the two. Both characters are fantastic puzzle solvers, and both help police solve crimes that confounded their detectives. Strike’s leg injury, in fact, isn’t dissimilar from Holmes’ partner John Watson, who has a limp in both the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories and the TV series.

No word yet on when fans might see Cormoran Strike stateside, but they have plenty to look forward to, as an as-yet-untitled fourth book in the series is expected to hit shelves next year.

Screen Rant will keep an eye out for more news from the HBO/BBC series and will keep you posted as it develops.

Source: Deadline

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