Sky 1 has found its leads for their series adaptation of Deborah Harkness‘ novel A Discovery of Witches, announcing that Matthew Goode (Watchmen) and Teresa Palmer (Hacksaw Ridge) will star in the supernatural romantic drama series. Juan Carlos Medina (Painless, upcoming The Limehouse Golem) will direct the series from an adaptation by showrunner Kate Brooke (Mr Selfridge), with Bad Wolf’s Jane Tranter serving as executive producer.
A Discovery of Witches was published in December 2011 by Penguin Random House and was the first book in the All Souls Trilogy (Shadow of Night and The Book of Life were subsequent books in the series). Here’s the publisher’s brief synopsis of the novel:
Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.
Palmer has been set for the role of reluctant witch Bishop, with Goode cast as her vampire partner/rival Clairmont.
For her part, Harkness took to YouTube to make the announcement and give fans her endorsement:
For Anne Mensah, head of drama for Sky, the novel seemed like a natural fit for a television series because it connects with a diverse audience: “A Discovery of Witches is a proper love story for grown-up that also examines science, magic and being ‘other’ in the modern world.”
Mensah and Director of Sky 1 Adam MacDonald were responsible for bring the project to a series order from Sky 1. Produced by Bad Wolf at their new Wolf Studios facilities in Wales and on location in Oxford, A Discovery of Witches is scheduled to start production some time in September 2017. Sky Vision will handle international distribution for the series.