Hat Trick Productions has optioned the rights to historian and novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Russian thriller One Night In Winter, with plans to develop it into a TV series.
One Night In Winter is set just after the Second World War. As Stalin and his courtiers celebrate victory over Hitler, shots ring out. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl lie dead. But this is no ordinary tragedy and these are no ordinary teenagers, but the children of Russia’s most important leaders who attend the most exclusive school in Moscow. Is it murder? A suicide pact? Or a conspiracy against the state?
Directed by Stalin himself, an investigation begins as children are arrested and forced to testify against their friends – and their parents. This terrifying witch-hunt soon unveils illicit love affairs and family secrets in a hidden world where the smallest mistakes will be punished with death. The novel was published in 2014 and forms part of the Moscow Trilogy, which also includes novels Red Sky at Noon and Sashenka.
“I am delighted that Hat Trick Productions is developing my novel One Night In Winter into the TV drama series for which it is so suited: beginning with the shooting of two teenagers in Moscow 1945, it opens up into a secret police case against the children of one very privileged school – and a passionate forbidden love affair. It’s a story of power, betrayal and love”, said Simon Sebag Montefiore. “I look forward very much for working with Hat Trick on this project,”
While Hat Trick Executive Producer Mark Redhead added: “One Night is unputdownable. It’s a gripping thriller, but it’s also intensely romantic and moving. The world of the book has echoes of today: a capricious despot, surrounded by a circle of ultra-privileged magnates, who enjoy a life of glamorous luxury amidst a climate of fear.”