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The BBC Is On a Roll, Nabs The Casual Vacancy For Exclusive Adaptation


Well, that didn’t take long. JK Rowling‘s The Casual Vacancy, a global bestseller and the first adult book by the author, is being adapted for the small screen by the BBC. As of yet there’s no specific information on anyone who will be involved in the projectsave Rowling herself, whom the BBC reports “will collaborate closely with the project, with the number and length of the episodes to be decided once the creative adaptation process has formally begun.”

Given the book’s über-British setting—the small village of Pagford, proper and idyllic on the surface but roiling with conflict underneath—it’s no surprise that the BBC would snap it up. Rowling thinks it’s a good fit, too. Says the author, “I’m thrilled that the BBC has commissioned The Casual Vacancy. I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television and I think the BBC is the perfect home.”

Danny Cohen, the controller for BBC One, is also excited for the adaptation (though of course he would be, if only for the cynical reason that his holiday bonus this year will likely be insane), stating that “This project highlights the ambition and scale of BBC One Drama, as well as the ability of modern television to attract the world’s biggest talent and most exciting creative ideas.”

The whole “biggest talent” thing refers to Rowling, of course, but it sent my mind off in the direction of casting. Specifically, who can Maggie Smith play? I’ve not read The Casual Vacancy, so I have no idea what sorts of character we’re looking at, but I want Smith to play someone.

(I want Maggie Smith to be in everything ever, basically. Is that so wrong?)

(Thanks, Tipster Jenni!)

Previously in Coming Soon(Ish) on the BBC

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  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I put this off read Dodger, then Cloud Atlas, and now I’ve slipped so far behind I might just wait and watch the show. Can anyone tell me if it gets any more lively after the heart attack scene?

  • Anonymous

    I thought Jo didn’t want it to be adapted? In any case, I’m curious how it would work…it doesn’t seem very adaptable.

  • Life Lessons

    Yes! As I read the book I kept seeing it as a mini-series. I can’t wait to see it. :)

  • Life Lessons

    It is pure Rowling. All of the ends tie together at the end in a very satisfying way.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Then you have a very different recollection of the end of Harry Potter from mine, but I’ll take it. Sounds good!

  • Anonymous

    I was really surprised by this. Its SO character driven and not lacking in plot but certainly not heavy in it. (except perhaps the end?) But then thinking about it I realized its EXACTLY BBC miniseries material. And that they would do it justice. (See Pride and Prejudice w/ Colin Firth anyone?) And if you haven’t read it yet, read it before you see it. Its so deliciously good you must. Full of details and woven together so well its just delightful. But um. Not super happy.