Bryncoed Productions has optioned the screen adaptation rights to C. L. R. James’ non-fiction book ‘The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution’, which was publisher in 1938 and charts the history of the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804.
Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE is on-board to adapt the book for television. The ten episode series will start with the first slave revolt of 1791 and end with the Haitian declaration of independence in 1804. It will explore the nature of leadership, its compromises, its glories and the range of personal cost it claims.
“Some books change you; other books change everybody who reads them. The Black Jacobins is one such book. By introducing me to the Haitian Revolution, to a man, to a people and to a time that redefined the way the mighty military nations of Europe saw see themselves in relation to the rest of the world, viscerally tilted my axis and changed the way I see the world we live in today”, said Kwame Kwei-Armah. “Bryncoed’s rock-solid production team, experience and expertise put this generation-defining story in the best hands for dramatic interpretation for global audiences.”
While Foz Allan, Founder and Creative Director of Bryncoed, added: “C. L. R. James’ unflinching analysis of the Haitian Revolution captures what, in those days, must have been unthinkable — the liberation of the largest slave colony in the Americas and its transformation into a new nation. When I set up Bryncoed, my vision was to produce drama that reminds us of our humanity and shows us that there is more that unites than divides us. The Black Jacobins is exactly that drama.”
Bryncoed has been making a heavy push on development in recent months. They previously optioned TV drama rights to Ian Sansom’s The County Guides series of novels and hired former NBCU exec Emma Yap as a Development Producer. They also recently announced the hire of Jonathan Wolfman to serve as their first young-adult (YA) development head.