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Simon Pegg & Nick Frost are working on a TV adaptation of Rivers Of London

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Stolen Picture, the production company set up by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is to adapt Ben Aaronovitch’s fantasy drama Rivers of London.

Here is the book synopsis:

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluble, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden … and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

Talking to Deadline, Nick Frost said he had read the book on holiday years ago.

Suddenly we were in a position where I said ‘there’s this book that I loved’ and it became available, more or less. I was chuffed to bits that I could get the rights to make it into a TV show.

Pegg talked about how TV is the perfect place for the project.

This era we’re in now, TV has suddenly evolved into something far more cinematic, where you can tell stories and elaborate. A lot of books that are made into film are criticized for not being as good as the book, because they are contracted into something more simplistic. But what TV offers us now, which is a cinematic playing field, you can tell these stories with scope and get into creative detail.

Ben Aaronovitch talked about what it was like working with Stolen Picture.

I’ve worked in television before so I was wary of sticking my head back into that lion’s den. It was a difficult thing to sell so that it wouldn’t get horribly butchered, and television up to now has had a lot of difficulties. [But] how could I say no [to Pegg and Frost]? I feel confident on several levels. I’m working with creators and I know these people don’t like bollocks. There will be creative conflicts and where external forces force us to make compromises but I know that the starting point is that we won’t make those compromises unless we have to. [Simon and Nick] are tremendous nerds and I don’t have to explain things to do them about magic, they just get it. we have a common language, which we don’t have in a lot of TV companies.

There is no word on whether Pegg or Frost will star in the show. It is a great series of books and it should make an excellent TV show.

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