The producer of Wolf Hall and Howards End Colin Callender has secured the film and television rights to Imogen Hermes Gowar’s bestselling debut novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock. Callender will produce through his company, Playground.
A top three Sunday Times bestseller, the book has been long-listed for The Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Desmond Elliott Prize.
Colin Callender, Executive Producer and Founder of Playground, says: “In the tradition of Wolf Hall and Howards End we at Playground are very excited to bring to the screen Imogen’s remarkable debut novel. We are honoured that she has entrusted us with her gloriously enthralling original story.”
Melissa Gallant, Creative Director at Playground UK, says: “We instantly fell in love with Imogen’s extraordinary and spellbinding novel. It is such a vibrant and moving love story full of originality and purpose.”
Set in 1785, the novel tells the story of Jonah Hancock, a prosperous merchant and widower, whose Captain returns having sold Hancock’s ship and cargo in exchange for an extraordinary creature; a mermaid. This mermaid becomes the subject of great curiosity and forges an encounter between Hancock and the desirable courtesan, Angelica Neal.
The deal was brokered by Luke Speed of Curtis Brown Group on behalf of Karolina Sutton of Curtis Brown Group.
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