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Russell Lewis to adapt Peter James’ novels for ITV

ITV to adapt Peter James’ novels

By Joanna Tilley19 December 2019

Endeavour’s Russell Lewis to adapt novels as John Simm comes on board

John Simm

ITV is to air two two-hour screenplays based on Peter James’ Roy Grace novels.

Grace is the first ITV scripted drama commission for ITV Studios-owned Second Act Productions, which is teaming up with The Bay and Bancroft producer Tall Story Pictures and Derren Brown’s Vaudeville Productions. The books have been adapted by Endeavour creator Russell Lewis.

John Simm will take the lead on the 2 x 120-minute screenplays, which will cover the first two stories in James’ series: Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead. The series of books revolves around detective superintendent Roy Grace, a hard- working police offer who has given his life to the job.

With Grace’s career at rock bottom, and fixated by the disappearance of his wife, he is asked to help with a case about the mysterious disappearance of a groom three days before his wedding.

The drama will begin filming in Brighton early 2020 with Andrew O’Connor and Paul Sandler executive-producing for Second Act and Patrick Schweitzer and Michael Vine doing the same for Tall Story and Vaudeville respectively, along with Lewis and James.

The first film, Dead Simple, will be directed by John Alexander (Belgravia, Trust Me, Jamestown) with the second film, Looking Good Dead, directed by Julia Ford (Sticks and Stones, The Bay II, Safe).

Polly Hill, ITV head of drama and drama commissioner Huw Kennair Jones commissioned the series.

Kennair Jones said: “With the brilliant combination of Peter James, Russell Lewis and John Simm, Grace promises to be a compelling new detective series for ITV and we’re delighted to be bringing the iconic books to life with such an exciting production team.

“Screenwriter Russell Lewis said Peter James’ meticulous research and eye for detail was the stuff of legend.”

ITV Studios Global Entertainment takes international distribution rights.