The story centers on Ursula Todd who dies one night in 1910 before she can draw her first breath. On that same night in 1910, Ursula is born and survives. She finds herself time and again, living and dying in different circumstances only to be reborn into a new, alternative iteration of life once more. Ursula navigates her way through a critical era which spans two world wars, an encounter with Hitler and major life events.
The drama is adapted by playwright and screenwriter Bash Doran (pictured, left; “Traitors,” “Outlaw King”) and will be directed by BAFTA-winning director John Crowley (“Brooklyn,” “Boy A”). Kate Ogborn (“The End of the F***ing World”) will produce. Doran and Crowley will be executive producers, as will Atkinson.
The novel was published in 2013 and won the Costa Book Award.
House Productions is the production company set up by Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell. House produced the Emmy and BAFTA-nominated “Brexit: The Uncivil War,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Ross and Howell are executive producers for House Productions and Lucy Richer for the BBC.
Ross and Howell said: “We feel hugely privileged that Kate Atkinson has entrusted the adaptation of her bestselling, award winning novel ‘Life After Life’ to House. We have brought together an immensely talented team who love the novel as we do too: Bash Doran’s scripts brilliantly capture the heart and soul of the novel, the warmth and scale of its world and the extraordinary characters who inhabit it. All human life is here, told through the experiences of Ursula who keeps on dying and being reborn.”
“And in John Crowley, we know we have a wonderful and ambitious director who brings huge heart, gripping storytelling and an extraordinary visual flair to this incredible story,” Ross and Howell added.
The series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, and Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama.
Wenger said: “We are honored to be able to bring Kate Atkinson’s adored ‘Life After Life’ to life on the BBC. With the incredible team of Bash, John and House Productions behind it we have no doubt that this is going to be a really remarkable adaptation.”
Filming on “Life After Life” will take place in spring 2021. BBC Studios will distribute internationally.