The six-part drama will be adapted by award-winning writer Mick Ford (The Boy with the Top Knot, Single Father, William and Mary) and is being produced by BBC Studios Drama.
CJ Tudor’s The Chalk Man, published by Penguin Random House / Michael Joseph (UK) and Penguin Random House / Ballantine (US) in 2018, was a Sunday Times best-seller and has sold in over forty countries. It won widespread acclaim including praise from fellow thriller writers Stephen King and Lee Child.
Set in the picturesque village of Anderbury, it tells the story of Eddie and his four friends – Gav, Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky. Their teacher, Mr Halloran – who they have christened The Chalk Man - gave them the idea for the chalk drawings; a way for the friends to leave each other secret messages. It was fun until the chalk men led them to the dead body of a 17-year-old girl.
Thirty years later, Eddie believes the past is far behind him – until an envelope slips through the letter box containing a stick of chalk and the drawing of a figure he recognises… are the Chalk Men back?
The story follows the gang not just during their traumatic experience during the summer of 1991, but also three decades later, as troubled adults who play out those haunting memories all over again. Who or what was the malevolent presence in Anderbury that summer? Has it returned 30 years later and will history repeat itself?
CJ Tudor says: “I am chuffed to bits that The Chalk Man is being developed for TV and couldn’t wish for a better team to bring the book and its characters to life. I’ve had so many readers tell me how much they would love to see The Chalk Man on screen, so this is great news for them and me!!
Tom Sherry, Head of Drama North, BBC Studios says: “Telling stories is at the heart of our work at BBC Studios Drama and CJ Tudor’s chilling tale of an adulthood haunted by the past, is a story we knew TV viewers around the world would be gripped by. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with CJ Tudor and with our partners Nice Media Studios and Windowseat to bring this thriller to life.”
Sam Sokolow, Chairman of Nice Media Studios says: “Few books jump off the page and scream to be made into a television series the way CJ’s masterful thriller The Chalk Man does. Mick Ford’s authentic voice and dynamic vision serve the material great justice.”
Bill Kiely, President of Windowseat Pictures says: “Windowseat’s strategy to discover first time authors paid off with CJ Tudor’s The Chalk Man. Though The Chalk Man is set in the UK, it is totally relatable to a reader here in the states. We are over the moon to be collaborating with BBC Studios on this series.”
Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency says: ‘I am thrilled that The Chalk Man is making its way to screen…an award-winning international bestseller across the globe, Tudor has so many fans who will be exhilarated by this latest development’
The TV rights to CJ Tudor’s book The Chalk Man are jointly owned by BBC Studios, Nice Media and Windowseat. Executives Producers will be Tom Sherry and Priscilla Parish for BBC Studios; Sam Sokolow for Nice Media and Bill Kiely for Windowseat.
For further information contact: Loretta de Souza, BBC Studios Productions, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
British author C. J. Tudor's first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and has sold in over forty countries. Her second novel, The Taking of Annie Thorne, was a Sunday Times bestseller as was her third novel The Other People. Her fourth novel, The Burning Girls, publishes in January 2021. She lives in Sussex with her family and is represented by Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency
Praise for The Chalk Man includes:
'If you like my stuff, you'll like this' Stephen King
'Wonderfully creepy - like a cold blade on the back of your neck' Lee Child
'A tense gripper with a leave-the-lights-on shock ending' Sunday Times
'There are shades of Stephen King in this very creepy time slip' The Guardian, Books of the Year
'A frightening Stephen King-esque coming-of-age story cum murder mystery' Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
'There are shades of Stephen King when the reality bends into the sinister, and a deliciously creepy finale' Daily Mail
About BBC Studios
BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Doctor Who and Bluey. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2500 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Amazon and China Mobile, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles. To the BBC, BBC Studios contributes both cash dividends and funds for programme-making, supporting the licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences.
Nice Media Studios
Nice Media Studios is a Los Angeles based television and film studio, providing funding and production structuring, bringing premium projects to life and commercializing these properties across an expanding range of distribution media platforms and outlets. Nice Media Studios’ world class portfolio of TV and film entertainment properties responds to the acute demand for compelling programming to feed ever-increasing media channels. Nice Media Studios powerful approach to storytelling leverages unique and direct access to A-List talent, writers, show-runners, directors, decision-makers, financing and studio production infrastructure. Currently, Nice Media Studios Chairman Sam Sokolow is executive producer of Nat Geo’s Genius: Aretha starring Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin. The studio is also currently in development with MGM Television on TC Boyle’s seminal immigration novel The Tortilla Curtain with Will Schefer and Mark Olsen creating and showrunning, on Amy Ephron’s international best-selling book series The Other Side with Ephron and Alec Sokolow creating and showrunning and on historical biographies based on the lives on Ben Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and Alice Guy Blache’.
Windowseat Pictures is an independent film and TV finance and production company based in Hermosa Beach, California.