Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere hasn’t been short of adaptations. There’s been the comic, the book was written during the production of the original BBC series, and there was recently an excellent, starry Radio 4 drama. There was a film in development at one point in time but it never happened.
Now, Deadline reports that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Constantine director Francis Lawrence will write and direct a new TV adaptation of the beloved Gaiman classic, in which Scotsman-in-London Richard Mayhew saves Door, a girl in trouble, and stumbles into the magical and terrifying world of London Below. The announced deal also includes an adaptation of Charles Belfoure’s novel House Of Thieves.
The Deadline report is frustratingly light on details, presumably because it’s very early days. The London setting is what makes Neverwhere Neverwhere, so you’d assume that they’d keep that, right? There’s currently no network attached, it’s just a development deal.
The first TV version of Neverwhere was certainly flawed, hamstrung by budget issues and that whole video-to-film nightmare, which resulted in the whole endeavour looking a lot cheaper than it was. However, there’s a lot to love about it, including some fantastic casting, including Patterson Joseph as the Marquis De Carabas, Peter Capaldi as the Angel Islington and Laura Fraser as Door.
The Radio 4 adaptation’s cast was superb, with James McAvoy as Richard Mayhew, Natalie Dormer as Door, David Harewood as the Marquis, Sophie Okonedo as Hunter, Benedict Cumberbatch as Islington, Anthony Head as Croup, David Schofield as Vandermaar, Bernard Cribbins as Old Bailey and Sir Christopher Lee as The Earl (of Earl’s Court, naturally).
It does still feel like there’s a definitive version to be made, but will this be it?
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