Following the enormous literary and cinematic success of her Harry Potter franchise, J.K. Rowling is taking her book The Casual Vacancy to HBO and BBC for a three-hour mini-series.
Sarah Phelps (EastEnders) will write the mini-series based on J.K. Rowling's 2012 book, which is set in the seemingly-sleepy English town of Pagford, where a beloved councilman suddenly dies. The unexpected death launches the village into chaos as the townsfolk fight over the vacant seat. The story also explores a nearby estate owned by the government, which some believe should be controlled by Pagford, and others think should join a neighboring town dubbed Yarvil.
Here's the official description for the novel, which has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide despite receiving mixed reviews.
"When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"
Jonny Campbell is directing the mini-series, with J.K. Rowling serving as executive producer along with her Bronte Film and Television producing partner and literary manager Neil Blair, Paul Trijbits and Rick Senat. The project was originally slated to be solely a BBC production when they acquired the rights back in 2012, but now it is a co-production between HBO and BBC. Production is scheduled to begin this summer in Southwest England.