Brontë Film and Television was founded in 2013 to develop and produce projects commissioned from J.K. Rowling’s novels. The first of these was The Casual Vacancy, a three part television series for BBC One and HBO, transmitted in February 2015. The company's most recent production was Strike for BBC One. Based on the Strike detective series: The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil were all broadcast on BBC One in 2017/18 to rave reviews. The next book in the series, Lethal White, was the newest to be adapted.
The Casual Vacancy
J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy has sold more than six million copies worldwide to date since its publication in 2012. Production began on the 3 part mini-series for BBC One and HBO on 7 July 2014 in South West England.
The Casual Vacancy centres on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade, however, is a town at war: Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.
The cast included BAFTA Award winning actor Michael Gambon (Quirke, The Singing Detective) as Howard Mollison, with Julia McKenzie (Notes on a Scandal, Shirley Valentine) playing his wife Shirley. Howard’s son Miles was played by Rufus Jones (Bill, W1A) with his wife Samantha Mollison played by Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty, Ashes to Ashes). Rory Kinnear (Skyfall, Penny Dreadful), who recently won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Iago in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Othello at the National Theatre, played Barry Fairbrother and Monica Dolan (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, W1A), who won a BAFTA Award for her portrayal of Rose West in Julian Jarrold’s Appropriate Adult, played Tess Wall. Newcomer Abigail Lawrie starred as the teenage Krystal Weedon.
The show was Executive Produced by J.K. Rowling and Neil Blair alongside Paul Trijbits and Rick Senat, and produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts.
The miniseries was written by Sarah Phelps (the BBC’s Great Expectations and The Crimson Field), and directed by Jonny Campbell (BAFTA winning mini series In the Flesh, BAFTA winner Eric & Ernie). Lucy Bevan (Maleficent, Cinderella) was the show’s Casting Director. Tony Slater Ling (The Politician's Husband, In The Flesh) the show’s Director of Photography. Production Design was by Sami Khan (In the Flesh), and Editor Tom Hemmings (Misfits, The Tunnel).
The Strike Series
Robert Galbraith's best-selling novels The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm and Career Of Evil, went into production in London during the autumn of 2016. Tom Burke starred as the books' protagonist, Cormoran Strike, alongside Holliday Grainger as his assistant, Robin Ellacott.
This bold series from a master storyteller has brought one of the most memorable detective duos of modern times to BBC One.
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Casual Vacancy), Neil Blair (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Casual Vacancy), Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Casual Vacancy, The Hour) and Elizabeth Kilgarriff (for the BBC) executive produced the three event dramas based on scripts by Ben Richards (The Tunnel: Sabotage, Spooks) who wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling, and Tom Edge (The Last Dragon Slayer, Lovesick) who wrote The Silkworm and Career of Evil. Michael Keillor (Line of Duty, Critical) directed The Cuckoo’s Calling, Kieron Hawkes (Fortitude, Ripper Street) directed The Silkworm and Charles Sturridge (Churchill’s Secret, Da Vinci’s Demons) directed Career of Evil, which aired in 2018. Jackie Larkin (Stella Days, Kings) produced the series.
Strike, a war veteran turned private detective operating out of a tiny office in London’s Denmark Street, is wounded both physically and psychologically. His unique insight and his background as an SIB Investigator prove crucial in solving three complex cases which have eluded the police.
The next book in the series, Lethal White, went into production in September 2019, written by Tom Edge and directed by Sue Tully.
The show saw Tom Burke, Holliday Grainger, Kerr Logan and Natasha O’Keeffe return - and also featured an all star cast including Sophie Winkleman, Joseph Quinn, Nick Blood, Natalie Gumede and Robert Glenister.
Lethal White was a four-part mini-series, executive produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts, J.K. Rowling, Tom Edge and Neil Blair, and produced by Jackie Larkin. Executive Produced by Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama.
Lethal White aired in Autumn 2020 on BBC One.