BBC1 has commissioned a three-part adaptation of Jessie Burton’s haunting period thriller The Miniaturist.
The new series is likely to air in 2017 and has been adapted by the scriptwriter John Brownlow, who wrote the Gwyneth Paltrow film Ted and Sylvia.
Burton’s book is set in 1686 and begins with eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman beginning a new life as the wife of wealthy Amsterdam merchant, Johannes Brandt.
But instead of Johannes, she’s met by his cold sister Marin and quickly realises that nothing is quite right in the Brandt household.
When Johannes finally appears he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a doll’s house replica of their home which is to be furnished by an elusive Miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror what is happening within the house in unexpected ways and seem to be predicting and unravelling the future with eery accuracy.
Burton’s book was one of the fastest selling debut novels in a decade, shifting more than a million copies in 37 countries. It also won Waterstone’s Book of the Year, and the National Book Awards Overall Book of the Year 2014.
The author said of the new drama: “It’s an almost indescribable thrill to know the characters and story I invented in The Miniaturist are going to be given a new life in such an exciting way. John Brownlow’s script is perfect. Short of actually being published, it’s the best news I’ve ever had.”
Executive producer Kate Sinclair added: “I read and pursued The Miniaturist in manuscript for over a year before publication, so utterly passionate was I about its astoundingly beauty and its rich and diverse characters. Jessie has created an exquisite gem, making the world of seventeenth century Amsterdam live and breathe in incredible detail whilst also delivering a fast paced thriller full of intrigue and dark secrets. John Brownlow has done a wonderful adaptation and I feel privileged to be making this for the BBC. Think Wolf Hall meets Tulip Fever.”
Filming will take place over the winter in both Holland and the UK.