Alex Rider indie, Eleventh Hour Films has announced two new developments along with the hire of Christopher Kam in a new senior creative role.

‘The Man In The Back Seat’ [working title] is a new series development from critically-acclaimed, multiple award-winning novelist David Peace (Red Riding, The Damned United) and actor/writer, Ted Reilly – EHF’s first project in the original true-crime genre.

Taking in events documented in the book ‘The Long Silence’ written by Paul Stickler, who serves as a consultant on the drama, ‘The Man In The Back Seat’ (wt) depicts one of the most controversial, divisive, and forgotten criminal cases in modern Britain. In 1962, after the longest trial in British legal history, James Hanratty was executed for the murder of Michael Gregsten, and the rape and attempted murder of Valerie Storie – a couple he abducted and held hostage at gunpoint for several hours in their car, which he happened upon when it was parked on the A6 road.

Long after Hanratty became one of the last men in the UK to be hanged, his family and their supporters – who included John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Ludovic Kennedy and Paul Foot – continued to campaign and contest the verdict and to press for a review of the conviction and a posthumous pardon. For over 50 years Valerie gave no interviews following the intense media scrutiny and public backlash she recieved at the time. In 2002 a DNA test conclusively proved Hanratty’s guilt beyond any doubt.

Paul Stickler (consultant) was granted access to Storie’s personal letters and diaries ahead of writing ‘The Long Silence’. A former UK police officer with a background in murder investigations and seconded to the FBI National Academy graduating in International Law Enforcement.

The drama will be written by acclaimed novelist David Peace and Ted Reilly, an actor who has appeared in numerous television dramas. Peace is the author of eleven best-selling, critically acclaimed novels. He was named as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists 2003, received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was GQ Writer of the Year. His novels have been widely translated and won awards in France, Germany and Japan. The Red Riding Quartetwas adapted by Tony Grisoni into an acclaimed three-part Channel 4 series, directed by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. The Damned United was adapted by Peter Morgan directed by Tom Hooper, and starred Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. David’s latest novel, Tokyo Redux, was published in June 2021 to international acclaim.

EHF has also optioned author and journalist Celia Walden’s acclaimed thriller ‘PAYDAY’ for development into a series.

First published in September 2022, Payday is a glossy, high-octane female driven thriller set in BWL, a property brokerage firm that sells properties to developers for millions.

JILL, NICOLE and ALEX all work for BWL. Jill (60s) is the company founder, current owner and senior partner; she learns that despite her altruistically mentoring star property broker Jamie, he has been ‘gaslighting’ her behind her back. Nicole (40s) is the Client Manager and Jamie’s colleague who has been sexually harassed by him. Alex (20s) is Jamie’s Personal Assistant, who he fires whilst she’s on maternity leave, blaming her for something that is in truth, his mistake.

Prior to the office party they had not talked to each other about seemingly charming yet problematic Jamie before, they all know about or have been subjected to his behaviour. They exchange words in hushed voices about the golden boy of the firm – about what he does to women, and they all agree something must be done.

Finally, Eleventh Hour Films is expanding its creative team, hiring Christopher Kam in a new senior creative role.

Kam joins as Head of Development and is leading a new development drive for EHF. Previously he was the Director of Scripted Development at NBCUniversal International Studios where he worked across the first season of HANNA (Amazon series by David Farr) and S1&2 of The Capture (BBC series written and directed by Ben Chanan) and script edited The Long Song (BBC / written by Sarah Williams).


Jon Creamer

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