Hera Pictures has secured the rights to adapt Joanna Quinn’s bestselling historical fiction novel The Whalebone Theatre for television.

The indie behind the recent adaptation of Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From starring Jodie Comer and DC Moore’s seven-part period drama Mary & George for Sky Atlantic and Starz, starring Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine, directed by Oliver Hermanus; is set to adapt the best-selling novel – a “ravishing coming-of-age story set in the shadows of oncoming World War Two” The Whalebone Theatre tells the story of an ‘unmarriageable girl’ electing to “defy convention and find her own path through life.”

Published by Fig Tree in the UK and Knopf in the US, The Whalebone Theatre is Joanna Quinn’s debut novel, released in 2022 it went straight into the bestseller lists in both countries.

Sold into a further 14 territories worldwide, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Holland, and Denmark, the novel was Shortlisted for Best Debut Fiction at the British Book Awards, The Authors’ Club Best First Novel award and The Society of Authors McKitterick Prize, it was the Waterstones Book of the Month in August 2023. It was also a ‘Read With Jenna’ pick as well as being chosen by HM Queen Camilla for her book club The Reading Room.

Liza Marshall, Hera Pictures founder, says “We fell in love with Jo’s gorgeous book from the moment it began – a family epic, a coming-of-age chronicle, a spy thriller and a tangled romance, The Whalebone Theatre is written with such warmth, poignancy and humour  it’s no surprise that it is a global bestseller. Jo puts the changing role of women centre stage and her book is perfect for a television adaptation.”

Joanna Quinn says “I am so excited by the thought of The Whalebone Theatre appearing on screen. Countless people who have read the book have told me they would love to see it as a tv series, and I am delighted that Hera Pictures have acquired the rights.”

Picture credit: Nancy Turner

Jon Creamer

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