The team behind Netflix and ITV hit “Marcella” have scooped the TV rights to “The Doll Factory,” an eagerly anticipated thriller set in 1850s London. Buccaneer Media will adapt Elizabeth Macneal’s novel for TV, with the drama producer’s founder, Tony Wood, and development executive Anna Burns exec producing.
The book is hot property, with numerous bidders for the publishing rights. Pan Macmillan/Picador ultimately won an auction, beating more than a dozen rivals. Simon & Schuster/Emily Bestler Books has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights in a two-book deal with Macneal. Both will issue “The Doll Factory” in 2019.
The story follows Iris, an aspiring artist who works in a doll-making shop, and Silas, a reclusive collector. They meet by chance in London’s Hyde Park during the construction of The Great Exhibition of 1851, which is the start of Silas’ increasingly dark obsession with Iris.
“This astonishing literary thriller has already created a sensation, even before publication,” Wood said of “The Doll Factory.” “Competition has been huge at each step it has taken. It’s an honor to announce a collaboration with Elizabeth Macneal; she’s an amazing talent, who I am delighted to bring into the Buccaneer fold.”
The book won the 2018 Caledonia Novel Award, which is awarded to unpublished works. “As soon as I met Tony and his team, I knew that Buccaneer was the perfect company to adapt ‘The Doll Factory,'” Macneal said. “I was thrilled by their passion for the characters, their enthusiasm for London’s history, and I know that Iris, Silas and Albie couldn’t find a better home.” Macneal is repped by Madeleine Milburn.
Buccaneer did the TV rights deal with Hayley Steed at Madeleine Milburn. Kyle Loftus at talent and literary agency APA will represent the TV production in the U.S.