BBC Studios secures the rights to Michael Moorcock’s Runestaff fantasy novels

BBC Studios today announces that is has secured the rights to the omnibus of Runestaff fantasy novels by multi-award-winning author Michael Moorcock, with a view to adapting them into a returning TV series. The Runestaff saga consists of four books: The Jewel in the Skull, The Mad God’s Amulet, Sword of the Dawn and The Runestaff.

Published: 14 February 2019
This is a perfect time for the series, which seems more relevant today than it did when I originally wrote it. I will be working closely with the writers to develop the stories. I feel like a schoolboy, breathlessly waiting for the first episode to be aired.
— Michael Moorcock

Michael Moorcock’s epic tale of a resistance force trying to bring down tyrannical rule is breathtakingly wide-ranging and an early influence on many of today’s best-known fantasy writers. The saga’s hero Hawkmoon’s journey takes him from ghost-cities in the Syrian desert to pirate colonies in the American bayou; from caravans of mutant creatures in Carpathian mountains to the heart of the Dark Empire itself - the glittering city of Londra where the river runs blood red.

Michael Moorcock says: “I am delighted that BBC Studios is developing the Runestaff series for TV. I believe the team will do an outstanding job and I’m looking forward to seeing Hawkmoon, Count Brass and Yisselda brought to the screen.  This is a perfect time for the series, which seems more relevant today than it did when I originally wrote it. I will be working closely with the writers to develop the stories.  I feel like a schoolboy, breathlessly waiting for the first episode to be aired.”

Steve Thompson, lead writer and executive producer, whose previous credits include Sherlock and Doctor Who says: "The ‘Runestaff’ novels were the first books that captured my imagination. It’s a privilege and a great adventure to be working with Michael Moorcock. I feel like I’ve just been handed the keys to the crown jewels of fantasy fiction.’ 

Richard Stokes, Executive Producer, BBC Studios, says: “Michael Moorcock is a giant of fantasy fiction – he changed the field single-handedly, writing sagas on an operatic scale with a strong literary sensibility and complex human characters. Hawkmoon is his greatest champion and I am thrilled that BBC Studios will be bringing him to the small screen.”

The Runestaff series is a BBC Studios production, executive produced by Richard Stokes (Broadchurch, Torchwood), John Yorke (Life on Mars, EastEnders) and written by Steve Thompson (Sherlock, Doctor Who).

BBC Studios is currently producing Good Omens for Amazon, based on the Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman novel, co-produced with Narrativia, The Blank Corporation and Amazon, which is due to air later this year. The BBC’s global content company and commercial subsidiary also recently announced it is producing The Watch for BBC AMERICA, also with Narrativia, based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s hugely popular “Discworld” novels, which have sold more than 90 million books worldwide. The novels are being adapted for the screen by Simon Allen (The Musketeers and Das Boot).


For more information, please contact: Georgie Heslett


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