The steady stream of YA novel adaptations continues to flow. London-based Big Talk Productions is moving forward with a television adaptation of Jonathan Stroud's best-selling Lockwood & Co series. It's been a good week for the supernatural adventure series: the series announcement comes at the same time that The Empty Grave (the fifth and final installment in the series) is set to be published by Penguin Random House imprint, Corgi.
First introduced in 2013 with The Screaming Staircase, the Lockwood & Co universe establishes an alternative London tormented by a regular wave of ghosts, ghouls and spooks. Only a few young people have the abilities needed to see and hear these supernatural horrors, so it's their charge to fight them. To handle this type of work, Detection Agencies have formed, with the series spotlighting the smallest, most ramshackle of them all: Lockwood & Co.
Here's an overview of the first novel, The Screaming Staircase:
"When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .
For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.
Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive."
Stroud's series is currently published in 24 countries around the world, and have garnered 35 literary award nominations. The Lockwood & Co series also includes The Whispering Skull, The Hollow Boy and The Creeping Shadow; as well as the short story The Dagger in the Desk.
For his part, Stroud seems pretty excited with the announcement:
"(I'm) hopping with delight at the prospect of Lockwood being brought to the screen by Big Talk… Their unique sensibility blends comedy, adventure and horror beautifully, and is in perfect synthesis with Lockwood's world. I can't wait for us to take up our rapiers, salt bombs and iron chains and get to work."
Big Talk has been on a run lately, having produced Edgar Wright's feature hit Baby Driver; continuing a production relationship with the director that also included Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. On the television side, recent credits include Back and Cold Feet; with previous productions including Rev, Friday Night Dinner, and Crashing.
For some fun, try out this Lockwood & Co interactive mystery: