BeaglePug, headed by producer David Barron, whose credits include six “Harry Potter” movies, “Mowgli” and “Cinderella,” has teamed with Enriched Media Group, co-founded by producer Mick Southworth, to produce TV drama “A Treachery of Spies,” an adaptation of Manda Scott espionage thriller “A Treachery of Spies.”
The London-based production outfits have secured all TV, film and ancillary rights to the novel from Emily Hayward Whitlock at The Artists Partnership, working in association with Robert Caskie. “Treachery” represents both production companies’ first foray into long-form TV drama, and the partners are in active discussions in both the U.K. and U.S. with senior production partners.
The thriller starts with a murder in 1940s World War II France whose mysteries are investigated in the present day by Detective Inspector Inès Picaut, “a brilliant but haunted female detective,” according to a statement.
“A Treachery of Spies” is the second of Scott’s espionage thrillers to feature Picaut, and will be the first to be adapted. The story spans two time periods as its mysteries develop and has been lauded by Scott’s contemporaries in the writing trade, including Lee Child, who said, “This is a rich vein for fiction, and Scott does it more than justice, with this beautifully imagined, beautifully written, smart, sophisticated – but fiercely suspenseful – thriller.” Author Mick Herron of the “Slough House” series raved, “The most exciting, involving thriller I’ve read in an age, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
A body has been found. The elderly victim’s identity has been cleverly obscured, but one thing is clear: She has been killed in the manner of traitors to the Resistance in World War II. To find answers in the present, Picaut must look to the past; to 1940s France, a time of sworn allegiances and broken promises, where the men and women of the Resistance fought for survival against Nazi invaders. But, as Picaut soon discovers, there are those in the present whose futures depend on the past remaining buried, and who will kill to keep their secrets safe.
The best-selling novel, part of a trilogy, was published by Transworld Publishers, a division of Penguin Random House, in 2018, and won the prestigious McIlvanney Prize for best crime novel in 2019. The Sunday Times anointed it their “Thriller of the Month,” describing it as “superb…a blend of historical imagination and storytelling verve reminiscent of Robert Harris.”
Barron said, “Seeing the impact of the crime through the eyes of Inès, an ordinary woman with unique skills, only highlights how extraordinary the events were.”
“During these increasingly challenging and difficult times, we’re more aware than ever of the importance of innovative storytelling,” Southworth added. “Manda Scott’s painstaking and thorough research has enabled her to create a gripping, thrill-packed drama with a unique female protagonist solving a crime through two distinct historical periods, and takes a close look at the world not dissimilar from our own through the history, the players, the victories and the spoils.”
Barron was a producer on six of the “Harry Potter” film series, alongside producing major films such as “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” “Hamlet,” Disney’s “Cinderella,” “Legend of Tarzan” and most recently “Mowgli” for Warner Bros. and Netflix, and “Escape From Pretoria,” starring Daniel Radcliffe, for Momentum in the U.S.
The Enriched Media Group principals, Southworth, Philip Burgin and Martin McCabe, are executive producers and financiers on Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” and are in post-production on two features, “A Gift From Bob” and “Point of Change.” They previously partnered with BeaglePug on “Escape From Pretoria.”