Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s production company, Stolen Picture, is set to adapt Ben Aaronovitch’s fantasy novel, Rivers of London (known as Midnight Riot in the U.S.).
“We were in a position where I said ‘there’s this book that I loved’ and it became available, more or less,” says Frost in an interview with Deadline. “I was chuffed to bits that I could get the rights to make it into a TV show. Everyone wants to potentially find the next Game of Thrones and the chance to turn Rivers of London into an eight-hour movie and hopefully find someone who will financially back that is a real draw.”
While this project is currently in its earliest stages (writers are still being hired in order to help assemble a formal pitch to potential broadcasting partners), everyone involved clearly can’t wait to talk about it. Pegg notes that “TV has suddenly evolved into something far more cinematic” which he hopes will allow the crew to “tell these stories with scope and get into creative detail.” While Frost hinted that their scope could span eight episodes, it doesn’t sound like the Sony supported Stolen Picture production company has a deal in place to produce a certain number of episodes.
For his part, writer Ben Aaronovitch states that he couldn’t say no to Pegg and Frost and that he feels “confident on several levels.” He appreciates that Pegg and Frost “don’t like bollocks” and believes that the team can work past any inevitable “creative conflicts and where external forces” because the team intends to not accept any compromises unless they “have to.” Furthermore, he loves that he doesn’t have to “explain things to do them about magic.”
For those who may not know, Rivers of London tells the story of a constable named Peter Grant who is thrust into a hidden world of magic following an encounter with a ghost. While that probably sounds like an exciting prospect, Grant soon finds himself caught in the middle of warring gods as he attempts to solve crimes related to a series of possessions that turn citizens into killers. There are more books in this series, but it sounds like the upcoming adaptation will initially focus on the first novel.
If this is your first time hearing about Rivers of London, we also highly recommend you read our interview with Ben Aaronovitch in which the author breaks down the themes of these stories and explains his motivations for writing this fascinating fantasy franchise.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.