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All authors are pleased when one of their novels is filmed or adapted for television– so for Ian McEwan this autumn is particularly special. The man who is arguably the UK’s most distinguished author has no less than three novels coming as movies or TV adaptations, all of which are sure to receive a massive sales boost as a result.
The recent Toronto International Film Festival (7-17 September) saw the world premieres of his 2014 novel The Children Act and his earlier novella, On Chesil Beach which was published in 2007. The Children Act, which centres on the case of a young boy who refuses medical treatment on religious grounds, stars Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. It is directed by Richard Eyre, who directed Notes on a Scandal, and produced by Duncan Kenworthy whose credits include Love Actually and Notting Hill.
On Chesil Beach, McEwan’s tender, heart-breaking love story that was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007, is directed by Dominic Cooke, former artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre. It stars Saoirse Ronan who played Briony Tallis in the film Atonement, based on McEwan’s novel of the same name.
McEwan said: “I’ve been privileged to work closely with these two gifted directors and I’m very pleased and excited by what we’ve achieved in The Children Act and On Chesil Beach.”
The Child in Time is the first project to be signed by SunnyMarch, the production company founded by the actor Benedict Cumberpatch. He will play the lead role in the story of celebrated children’s author Stephen Lewis, whose daughter goes missing while they are out shopping. The novel won the Whitbread Prize for Fiction in 1987.
Beth Coates, editorial director for Vintage, sad: “What a thrill it is to see these three adaptations come to the screen within weeks of each other. It’s a testament to [Ian’s] extraordinary power as a writer – and we can’t wait to see his pages turned into big and small-screen gold.”