BBC One announces adaption of Jessie Burton’s sumptuous period thriller The Miniaturist
It's an almost indescribable thrill to know the characters and story I invented in The Miniaturist are going to be given a new life in such an exciting way. Jessie Burton
Set in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. Full of hopes and dreams, she has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of wealthy merchant, Johannes Brandt. But instead of Johannes, she's met by his cold sister Marin and quickly realises that nothing is as it seems in the Brandt household. When Johannes finally appears he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a doll's house replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive Miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror what is happening within the house in unexpected ways and seem to be predicting and unravelling the future with unsettling accuracy.
As Nella begins to uncover its secrets and those of the Brandt household she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the Miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton was one of the fastest selling debut novels in a decade, it has sold well over a million copies in 37 countries following Juliet Mushens's (UTA) sale to Picador. It has also gone on to win multiple awards including Waterstone's Book of the Year, and the National Book Awards Overall Book of the Year 2014.
On the television adaptation of her debut novel, Jessie Burton said: “It's an almost indescribable thrill to know the characters and story I invented in The Miniaturist are going to be given a new life in such an exciting way. John Brownlow's script is perfect, and I know that Kate Sinclair at the Forge will make magic happen in production. Short of actually being published, it's the best news I've ever had.”
Kate Sinclair, Executive Producer, The Forge said: “I read and pursued The Miniaturist in manuscript for over a year before publication, so utterly passionate was I about its astoundingly beauty and its rich and diverse characters. Jessie has created an exquisite gem, making the world of seventeenth century Amsterdam live and breathe in incredible detail whilst also delivering a fast paced thriller full of intrigue and dark secrets. John Brownlow has done a wonderful adaptation and I feel privileged to be making this for the BBC. Think Wolf Hall meets Tulip Fever.”
Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Executive Producer, BBC said: "The Miniaturist is a book much loved by many people and I'm thrilled that we'll be bringing this compelling and beautiful story to life on BBC One. Jessie Burton's haunting thriller, brilliantly adapted by John Brownlow, plays out against the extraordinary backdrop of seventeenth century Amsterdam and promises a truly original and visually stunning treat for our audience."
The Miniaturist is a 3 x 60’ series and will be produced by The Forge for BBC One. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and Lucy Richer, Acting Controller of BBC Drama. Executive Producer is Kate Sinclair for The Forge, and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC. Filming will take place over the winter in both Holland and the UK, the series will transmit in 2017.
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