Narrativia announces definitive Discworld screen adaptations!
With my Weird and Wonderful Discworld Characters series of posts coming up in May, this news couldn't have come at a better time!
It's been a bit of a rollercoaster for Discworld fans of late.
First, we heard that BBC America was bringing the Watch to the screen. Yay! A few months later, we were 'treated' to some production stills...
A lot of fans, including myself, were bitterly disappointed. This was not the Discworld we knew and loved. This was a cynical attempt to tap into the Discworld fanbase, adopting the world while completely disregarding the spirit of the series.
Let me point out a specific example.
Sam Adewunmi has been cast to play the character of Carcer Dun. If you've read Night Watch, the name fills you with dread. Carcer is a psychopathic murderer, who embodies the attitude of injured innocence. He'll stand over the dead and bloody body of his victim, whining that he's the real victim here.
This is how BBC America describes this new depiction of Carcer:
Sam Adewunmi is the wounded and wronged Carcer Dun, out to hijack destiny itself, take control of the city and exact a terrible revenge on an unjust reality.First Look Photos: BBC America’s ‘The Watch’ Starring Richard Dormer
The psychopath is now a freedom fighter. Lady Sybil, the buxom tower of strength and diplomatic tour de force has been turned into a backstreet vigilantly. The fantasy, entirely nutty universe only Pratchett could create, is now a copy-paste cyberpunk world.
Rule of thumb? If you can't imagine Death riding through the scene on a white horse called Binky, it's not the Discworld.
Talking of riding in on a white horse...
Today, the 28th April 2020, Terry Pratchett's birthday, Narrativia announced that they are joining forces with the production companies Motive Pictures and Endeavor Content to create a new, definitive series of Discworld screen adaptation.
Hallelujah, thank Anoia, please don't mess it up!
Narrativia is the independent production company run by Rhianna Pratchett (Terry Pratchett's daughter) and Rob Wilkins (Pratchett's assistant). It controls all the multimedia rights to Pratchett's works and it's who people have to go it if they want to use any of Pratchett's works, including the Discworld.
The announcement of this new deal is up on the website and, maybe it's just me, but I'm reading so many low-key swipes at the BBC America production. First of all, it doesn't mention The Watch in at all, despite the fact it retains a production credit on that series. However, it proudly mentions the release of Good Omens.
Then there are entirely suspicious comments like Rhianna's:
Discworld teems with unique characters, witty narrative and incredible literary tropes, and we feel these should be realised on screen in a form that my father would be proud of. It’s wonderful to embark on this journey with Motive and Endeavor Content, who both perfectly share our vision to make this a reality.
I think it's the 'in a form my father would be proud of' which really makes me smile.
My Weird and Wonderful Discworld Characters series
The Discworld character posts I announced last month have gone through a bit of a journey.
Originally, I started writing them because I was desperately missing the Discworld. After seeing The Watch stills, they turned into a defiant last stand against the mutilation some of my favourite characters have apparently gone through at the hands of BBC America.
Now, I don't know what to think.
I have so much confidence in Rihanna Pratchett - a talented writer and creative in her own right. I'm secretly incredibly hopeful that Narrativia, Motive Pictures and Endeavour Content manage to do what Neil Gaimen seemed to do so effortlessly. Adapting a book to the screen without sacrificing everything that made us love it in the first place.
So, starting on the first of May and continuing through the month, I will be covering:
May is also the month of the Glorious Revolution, which you can read all about here.
I hope you'll all be back to read my upcoming series. It's Sam Vimes up first and I honestly can't wait!