In tentative, but potentially exciting, news, it’s been revealed that screenwriter Tony Grisoni is adapting China Miéville’s novel The City & the City for the BBC as a four-part drama. This news comes from a recent article on Screen Daily — I went a step further and dug up Grisoni’s keynote, in which he announces the project, on Youtube. He only mentions it right at the end, and doesn’t actually say anything further about it, but the video is worth watching anyway if you’re interested in television drama.
Grisoni is probably best known as the screenwriter for Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as well as a handful of other Gilliam projects. I’m not very familiar with his work, but hearing him talk about writing for TV in that video reassures me that the story will be in good hands.
If this goes forward, it won’t be the first adaptation of the novel; in 2013 it was staged as a play at the Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. I would have killed to see this play! Hopefully there’ll be renewed interest at some point, and some other production company will stage it in the future.
I’m keeping all fingers crossed that the TV production becomes a real thing! It will be fascinating to see how they visually represent the “seeing” of the separate cities. I’m hoping for a kind of dark, moody adaptation, rather like the excellent Swedish/Danish crime drama Bron/Broen (AKA The Bridge). Talking of which, wouldn’t Kim Bodnia (who played Martin in that show) be perfect as Tyador Borlú? I’m picturing it now, and I like it.
Hopefully I’ll be bringing further news and updates on this project in the future. So keep on reading Out There Books!