The company has optioned the rights to the much-loved series of 25 novels written by journalist turned novelist H.R.F. Keating over a 45-year period. It intends to develop them as a multi-part returnable series. No details are yet available about the series’ development schedule, talent attachments or broadcast partners.
Dramatic rights were acquired by Endemol Shine India from broadcast agent James Carroll at U.K.-based Northbank Talent Management on behalf of Peter Buckman at The Ampersand Agency and the H.R.F. Keating Estate. Mumbai-based agency The Story Ink was the advisor on the deal for Endemol Shine India.
Introduced in 1964 novel “The Perfect Murder,” the books feature Ganesh V Ghote as a middle-aged, married inspector in the Mumbai police force. A dogged crimefighter who is often under-estimated by Bombay society, Ghote spends almost as much time combatting bureaucracy as he does cracking cases.
The story earned Keating the British Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger, and the subsequent series made him one of the most enduring British crime writers of the last century.
The new book-to-screen deal is timed with Severn House republishing each of the “Inspector Ghote” novels and Level Best Books publishing a new biography “H.R.F. Keating: A Life of Crime,” written by Keating’s wife, actress Sheila Mitchell, and published last month. The biography includes an introduction from another literary lion, Len Deighton.
“This universe celebrates not just a highly endearing and enduring character but also the nostalgia of a slice of our collective past, history and culture,” said Abhishek Rege, CEO of Endemol Shine India.
Some of the novels have been previously adapted for film and TV. British-Indian production company, Merchant Ivory delivered a 1988 movie adaptation of “A Perfect Murder” starring Naseeruddin Shah. The BBC has adapted other books for TV.
Having evolved from Endemol India, Endemol Shine India is a major player in scripted and unscripted content in India that is jointly owned by Endemol Shine and CA Media. With some 800 hours of shows per year for major broadcasters and streaming platforms, its scripted highlights include “The Test Case,” “MOM – Mission on Mars,” and the upcoming “Ibis” series with Shekhar Kapur. The company has also optioned the rights to the novels of several best-selling authors including Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s yet to be published book “Lioness -The Last Queen,” Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy’s “Trial by Fire,” Arjun Raj Gaind’s “Maharaj Mysteries” and Richa Mukherjee’s “Kanpur Khoofiya.”