EXCLUSIVE: UK indie The Forge (Roadkill, National Treasure) has secured TV adaptation rights to Barbara Taylor Bradford’s bestselling series of books known as The Emma Harte Saga.
The deal covers eight novels, including her latest work, A Man Of Honour, which is a prequel to her famed 1979 book A Woman Of Substance and is due to be published by HarperCollins in November.
A Woman Of Substance, the first in the series, has sold more than 30 million copies. The story follows a servant girl who through talent, true grit, hard graft, ambition, and drive becomes a huge success as a tycoon, founding a business empire and a family dynasty. The novel was previously adapted for TV back in 1984.
The other six books are: Hold The Dream; To Be The Best; Emma’s Secret; Unexpected Blessings; Just Rewards; and Breaking The Rules.
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The deal was brokered by Barbara Taylor Bradford’s media agent Luke Speed on behalf of Jonathan Lloyd of Curtis Brown Group.
The Forge has credits including Jack Thorne’s BAFTA-winning trilogy National Treasure, Kiri and The Accident, as well as Ackley Bridge, The Last Post, Collateral, and recently the political thriller Roadkill starring Hugh Laurie, which aired on PBS in the U.S. and BBC One in the UK.
Upcoming, the company has Becoming Elizabeth, an eight part original series for Starz by writer Anya Reiss, and as Deadline recently revealed, Jack Thorne’s new drama Help, to be directed by Marc Munden and starring Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer.
“Barbara’s generosity and support with her masterpiece has been incredible. We are honoured to be allowed to bring this riveting and much-loved saga to the screen,” said Beth Willis, Executive Producer at The Forge. “Television dramas about women who aren’t driven by love or a need for love are rarer than hen’s teeth. Emma Harte has an array of dazzling romances, marriages, lovers and missed opportunities. But what drives her is a steely determination to never feel powerless, to provide and to protect and, most importantly, to win.”
Barbara Taylor Bradford added, “The Forge has acted swiftly and has been great to work with. I think my darling Emma Harte and her vast family have just found a good home.”
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