Gaumont UK has scored the rights to the literary thriller Sixteen Horses, written by Greg Buchanan, to develop as a series.
Sixteen Horses is set for release in the U.K. on April 29 and the U.S. on July 20. Gaumont UK pursued the book for two years and won the rights following a competitive bid, which saw multiple buyers vying for the book option.
Set in a small British seaside community the rest of the world has left behind, Sixteen Horses begins with the discovery of sixteen horses’ heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the low winter sun. Ilmarsh’s local police detective Alec Nichols and forensic veterinarian Cooper Allen soon uncover evidence of a chain of crimes in the community—disappearances, arson and mutilations—all culminating in the reveal of something deadly lurking in the ground itself.
The drama development is led by executive producer Alison Jackson (Tin Star, Ashes to Ashes, Hunted), who also helms Gaumont UK’s growing London-based division, and Gaumont UK’s Senior Development Exec Jamie Jackson.
Buchanan said: “So many of my influences in writing Sixteen Horses were from television and cinema—Don’t Look Now, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Blue Velvet and True Detective—that I’m fascinated to see how the novel’s dark, existential atmosphere translates back on to screen. I am thrilled to be working with the team at Gaumont UK; of all the studios we spoke with, their vision was closest to what I’d imagined, and I can’t wait for audiences to see the results of our collaboration.”
Jackson said: “Sixteen Horses is an utterly fascinating story, wonderfully written by Greg in a cinematic way that we believe will translate beautifully to the screen, and appeal to audiences both in the U.K. and globally. Gaumont UK is passionate about developing stories from a uniquely British perspective and discovering new voices, of which we have both in Sixteen Horses.”