‘Operation Mincemeat’ Producer Archery Acquires Ned Beauman’s Novel ‘Venomous Lumpsucker’

'Operation Mincemeat' Producer Archery Acquires 'Venomous Lumpsucker'
Photo courtesy of Arno Burgi/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP Images

Kris Thykier’s Archery Pictures, whose credits include John Madden’s “Operation Mincemeat” and Sky thriller “Riviera,” has acquired the television rights to Ned Beauman’s highly anticipated new novel “Venomous Lumpsucker.”

The dark comedy is a madcap adventure story set in a dystopian world ravaged by climate change.

The story is set in the near future, when tens of thousands of species are going extinct every year, and a whole industry has sprung up around their extinctions, to help preserve the remnants, or just assuage humankind’s guilt (depending how you look at it).

Humanity’s last hope is the biobanks, impregnable vaults where the DNA of every organism can be preserved forever, until one day an audacious cyberattack obliterates them in their entirety.

In the aftermath, a troubled conservationist and a crooked mining exec must team up in search of the venomous lumpsucker, a lost fish that they both desperately need to save.

British journalist and novelist Beauman has been nominated for many prizes including the Booker and Desmond Elliot prize and has won a few, including the Somerset Maugham Award. “Venomous Lumpsucker,” his fifth novel, is published in July in the U.K. by Sceptre and in the U.S. by Soho Press.

Thykier commented: “ ‘Venomous Lumpsucker’ is a hilarious and thrilling ride and the more the story unravels the stranger things become. It’s about environmental collapse, corporate greed, and humanity’s complex relationship with nature. It’s a bold, offbeat and somewhat absurd story, and it couldn’t be more timely. Ned Beauman is a genius, and we couldn’t be more excited to be developing his masterpiece.”

Beauman added: “When I finished this novel, I thought to myself, ‘Well, I’m proud of this, it’s just a shame that I have no hope of selling the TV rights, because it’s much too weird and also, it’s called ‘Venomous Lumpsucker.’ Thank you to Archery for proving me wrong! And I’m especially happy to have them take it on because I’ve been working with them on something else, so I already know they’re really good.”

Archery is in post-production on Season 2 of hit YA series “Fate: The Winx Saga,” for Netflix. “Operation Mincemeat,” starring Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Kelly Macdonald, was released in April to critical acclaim.

Archery has produced three seasons of “Riviera” for Sky Atlantic, a thriller series set against the Cotè d’Azur. Starring Julia Stiles, it became Sky’s most downloaded box-set ever.

Other credits include the BAFTA nominated series “The State,” a harrowing four-part drama written and directed by Peter Kosminsky.

In January 2021, Archery announced the beginning of a multi-year strategic alliance with Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures. This venture sees Archery and Green Door Pictures working in partnership on selected projects in both film and TV.

In November 2020, Archery launched Mews Films, a production label focused on the development of a slate of comedy movies for the domestic U.K. theatrical market. The venture is a partnership with Danny Perkins’ Elysian Film Group.