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Andrew Davies to adapt John Updike's Rabbit novels

Andrew Davies to adapt John Updike's Rabbit novels
News
Jon Creamer
05 February 2018

British independent drama producer Lookout Point has secured the rights to John Updike’s multiple Pulitzer Prize winning Rabbit series of books and confirmed that War and Peace screenwriter Andrew Davies will adapt all four novels for television for the first time. 

Rabbit marks the fourth collaboration between Lookout Point and Andrew Davies, following on from his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, as well as Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables which starts filming this month in France and Belgium and Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, which is currently in pre-production. Andrew Davies past series for television include the original House of Cards and Pride and Prejudice and in film Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Tailor of Panama.

The Rabbit novels centre around ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, a former high-school basketball champion who fears his best days are behind him. Determined to escape his stifling small town life, Rabbit runs away from his wife Janice and son Nelson and begins a dangerous, desperate and painfully funny struggle to recapture the promise of his youth. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Rabbit’s journey unfolds as America is shaping its own destiny: a time of huge change in politics, culture and attitudes. 

Andrew Davies said: “This is such an important series of books for me. As a young man, I read RABBIT, RUN when it came out and thought: gosh, this is what life is all about. For me no other writer examines the mundane, everyday details of life with such expressionistic, colourful, spiritual power. I have hoped for a long time to adapt Updike’s novels and I’m thrilled to embark on this journey now.”

Faith Penhale, Joint CEO and Creative Director, Lookout Point said: “It is a huge honour to have won the rights and the support from the Updike estate, to bring these incredible novels to life for television. Updike captures the myth of the American Dream and longing for a better time so brilliantly through the experiences of Rabbit. The novels have resonated with readers since the 60’s and the themes covered are equally relevant in today’s challenging political and economic climate.

“We are also delighted to place the adaptation of these books in Andrew’s hands. He is a master at bringing complex characters and stories to life for television and, as a life-long fan of Rabbit, I know this is going to be an incredibly special and personal project for Andrew.”

Simon Vaughan, Chairman and Joint CEO, Lookout Point said: “We were talking to Andrew about whether there was any great work of literature he had always wanted to adapt and Andrew said without breaking breath that it was Updike’s Rabbit books. Following his adaptations of non-British epics including War and Peace, Les Misérables and A Suitable Boy, it seems perfectly logical for him to take on one of America’s iconic titles, and we are thrilled to have been able to secure the rights from the estate.”

Rabbit marks the fourth collaboration between Lookout Point and Andrew Davies, following on from his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, as well as Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables which starts filming this month in France and Belgium and Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, which is currently in pre-production. Andrew Davies past hit series for television include the original House of Cards and Pride and Prejudice and in film Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Tailor of Panama.




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