Johana Gustawsson’s Roy and Castells series optioned for television

And the news just keeps on coming.

French-born author Johana Gustawsson’s Roy and Castells series has been sold to Banijay Studios France and award-winning French actress Alexandra Lamy for a television adaptation. Lamy will adapt it for the screen and play the main character, Emily Roy.

The series is a co-production between Sweden, the UK and France, with four to six episodes per book. The first will be based on Johana’s international, bestselling thriller Block 46, and the second on its sequel, Keeper, both translated into English by Maxim Jakubowski and published by Orenda Books. The next in the series, Blood Song, published in the UK in Autumn 2019, will make up the third series.

Set in Sweden, Block 46  sees Chief Inspector Bergstrom discover the naked and frozen corpse of a woman on the beach of Olofsbo. London. Renowned profiler, the tenebrous Emily Roy investigates a series of murders of children whose savagely mutilated bodies are dumped in the woods of Hampstead, in the north part of the city. They have the same mutilations that the Swedish victim: torn trachea, enucleated eyes and a mysterious Y etched on their arm.

The action for Keeper starts in London in 1888. London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some 10 years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before. Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose? Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down.

Gustawsson said:  “Everything happened as if in a dream … receiving Alexandra Lamy’s message, pinching myself several times, meeting her for a drink in London, and a few days later receiving the message that Alexander wanted to adapt both Block 46, Keeper and the third in the series (yet unpublished), Blood Song for TV, with Banijay soon coming on board. It’s an incredible destiny for Roy & Castells, success that I attribute to my amazing French editor, Lilas Seewald, Bragelonne’s great team, and my English publisher, the fantastic Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books), who gave my books international recognition.”

Alexandra said: “Johana is “Kairos”, the goddess of the timely opportunity, of the relevant, of the chance that you cannot let pass. I grabbed that chance and I won’t let it go! I love the author, I love the woman, and I’m so very happy to develop this project with my partners at Banijay. My joy is immense.”

More news as we get it.


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