Sony Greenlights YA Series Based on Alex Rider Novels


Sony Pictures Television’s (SPT) international production and worldwide distribution divisions have aligned to greenlight an eight-episode young-adult drama series based on Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider novels.

The deal marks the first pickup of an original spec series by the SPT groups. Eleventh Hour Films (EHF) optioned the screen rights to Horowitz’s novels, which chart the adventures of a reluctant teen superspy on his missions to save the world, last year. The books have sold more than 19 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 28 languages.

The adaptation, penned by Guy Burt (Bletchley Circle, The Borgias), begins with the second book in the series, Point Blanc. The EHF and SPT adaptation reimagines Point Blanc as a thrilling, coming-of-age spy serial, which sees teenage Alex infiltrate a controversial correctional academy for the wayward offspring of the rich and powerful. Across the eight episodes, Alex—acting an unofficial agent for MI6—investigates the sinister true purpose of the academy while at the same time is forced to question everything he thought he knew about himself.

“We identified Alex Rider some time ago as we were looking for the right project to take this leap, and we’re thrilled it has come together as our very first spec series,” said Wayne Garvie, SPT’s president of international production, and Keith Le Goy, president of worldwide distribution and networks. “This is a big-brand property with a passionate following, and with Guy’s fantastic writing and the talented team at EHF, we are pleased to be bringing these gripping stories to life and making a unique show that will appeal to young-adult audiences around the world.”

Eve Gutierrez, exec producer and head of talent at EHF, said: “With the television landscape evolving so rapidly it feels like the perfect moment to be partnering with SPT on Alex Rider and even more exciting that it will be their first original commission. The combination of Guy Burt’s brilliant character-driven scripts and the legacy of Anthony Horowitz’s books gives us all the ingredients for a truly distinctive spy drama.”

Horowitz commented: “So many Alex Rider fans have been asking me when he would be returning to the screen—and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s finally happening. Guy Burt has perfectly captured the danger and excitement of the books and I’m sure the series will have universal appeal.”