Death In Paradise indie Red Planet Pictures has optioned the rights to Megan Hunter‘s novel The Harpy and Antony Johnston’s novel The Exphoria Code. Both are being developed for television as part of the company’s 2021 slate.
The Harpy is a fierce tale of love, betrayal and revenge that centres on Lucy and Jake, who live with their children in a house by a field. Lucy works from home but devotes her life to her children, to their finely tuned routine, and to the house itself. But then a man calls one afternoon with a shattering message: his wife has been having an affair with Lucy’s husband. The revelation marks a turning point. Lucy and Jake decide to stay together, but in a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage, she will hurt him three times.
Jake will not know when the hurt is coming, nor what form it will take. As the couple submit to a delicate game of crime and punishment, Lucy herself begins to change, surrendering to a transformation of both mind and body from which there is no return. The rights were acquired in a deal brokered between Red Planet Pictures’ joint Managing-Director Alex Jones, and Lesley Thorne at Aitken Alexander Associates (on behalf of Emma Paterson). Hunter herself will pen the adaptation for the indie.
“It’s wonderful to have the chance to bring The Harpy to life in another form, and an honour to collaborate with someone as passionate and experienced as Belinda Campbell on my first adaptation”, author Megan Hunter said in a statement. “Her enthusiasm for the book and vision for its on-screen potential captured my imagination right from the start; I’m very excited to be working together on what comes next.”
The Exphoria Code follows cyber-espionage specialist, Brigitte Sharp, a brilliant but haunted young MI6 hacker. When she decodes encrypted online messages, which she believes are connected to her best friend’s murder, Bridge uncovers evidence of a mole inside a top secret Anglo-French military drone project. Forced back into the field by MI6, after three years deskbound and in therapy, she discovers that the truth behind the Exphoria code is far worse than she could have imagined. Soon she’s on the run, desperate and alone, as a nuclear terrorist plot unfolds around her.
Red Planet Pictures acquired the rights to The Exphoria Code in a hotly contested deal with Sarah Such at the Sarah Such Literary Agency. “I was bowled over by The Harpy, a beautifully written novel of extraordinary insight, emotion and drama”, said Belinda Campbell, Joint Managing-Director of Red Planet Pictures. “The Exphoria Code is similarly thrilling, with a brilliant new take on the world of high stakes espionage. With unique female protagonists, these two books, whilst very different, share a boldness of proposition, compelling characterisation and storytelling which I can’t wait to bring to the screen.”