The Rivers of London series follows Peter Grant, no relation to the infamous Led Zeppelin manager, an ordinary police constable turned magician’s apprentice as he solves crimes across the British capital with a blend of urban fantasy, mystery thriller and fantasy caper. The franchise has sold over 2.5M copies worldwide.
Aaronovitch said that he’d optioned the books for an adaptation before, but things never came together. But being a fan of Pegg and Frost’s, he trusted them to do right by the source material. It also helps that Aaronovitch will be heavily involved in the development and serve as an executive producer along with Pegg and Frost.
All three expressed enthusiasm with bringing the series to TV, now that the medium has advanced to its current state.
As Frost stated:
“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.”
“TV has entered an era where sprawling book series such as Rivers of London can now be adapted faithfully. 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.”
“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.”
Aaronovitch hinted that the adaptation will include new elements not found in the novels, but that since they were coming from him, they would be considered canon.
The first season is being eyed to consist of eight episodes and adapt the first novel, but Aaronovitch indicated that future seasons may combine books. While the novels are humorous, they are not outright comedies, which is the genre that is most associated with Pegg and Frost’s work. There also is no indication that they will actually appear on the show, but things are still in the early planning or “assembly” stages. Writers haven’t been found, nor has the series been shopped to outlets.
Pegg and Frost are best known for co-starring in the Cornetto Trilogy: ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’, and ‘The End of the World’, all three of which were directed by Edgar Wright. Pegg and Frost have also appeared or been heard together in ‘Grindhouse’, ‘Paul’, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’, ‘The Box Trolls’, ‘Slaughterhouse Rulez’, and the TV series ‘Spaced’.
Check back for updates as they become available.
Are you excited about ‘Rivers of London’ becoming a TV series?