Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider teen spy novels to be adapted for TV

Move over, James Bond – there’s a new agent in town and he’s just about ready to save the day. Just as soon as he’s done his homework...

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After a slightly unsuccessful film adaptation in 2006 starring Alex Pettyfer (main image), Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling Alex Rider book series is coming to TV, with reluctant teen spy Alex set to save the day, defeat villains and use all sorts of cool gadgets on the small screen.

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The new series is being developed at ITV (where Horowitz’s popular Foyle’s War series was aired) by Eleventh Hour Films, with BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Guy Burt (Bletchley Circle, The Borgias, The Hole) adapting Horowitz’s original novels.

The ongoing storyline of the books concerns teenager Alex, who is blackmailed into working for MI6 after his secret agent uncle is killed. Finding himself on increasingly dangerous missions around the world, Alex takes on eco-terrorists, vast criminal organisations and deadly assassins, with only his guile and a few clever gadgets to protect him.

There are currently 10 Alex Rider books in the main series, beginning with 2000’s Stormbreaker through to latest story Never Say Die, which is released today. There was also a spin-off prequel to the series called Russian Roulette, which was released in 2013.

According to the release, writer Burt will be “re-imagining” the teen-targeted stories as a “long-running, older-skewing family drama” for “teens and adults alike”, with each book adapted for one series starting with second novel Point Blanc (presumably to avoid direct comparisons with the 2006 film adaptation of the first novel, Stormbreaker).

“I’ve been a big fan of Anthony’s books for years and their combination of adrenaline-fuelled plot lines, cool characters and coming-of-age story make them superb material for adaptation,” Burt said in a release.

“The dangers are genuine, the themes topical and the long-form television format gives me license to go deeper into the world of Alex and the characters that surround him.”

“Guy is cleverly expanding the characters whilst staying true to the spirit of the original novels to ensure that the series will appeal to both loyal fans and a new generation of viewers,” Horowitz added.

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Sounds like double-o-heaven for fans of spy stories and YA books alike.