The literary work that J.K. Rowling is famous for was certainly not a story that was entirely conducive to film making. It required an enormous budget and a lot of tricky computer graphics. Her latest novel A Casual Vacancy, a tragicomedy aimed at adults, is quite the opposite.
Quintessentially British, the plot occurs in the wake of the sudden death of Pagford Parish Councillor, Barry Fairbrother, and the subsequent debate about what should be done about the local council estate 'The Fields'. As the constituents of the area chip in to the discussion as well as who should take the place of the Fairbrother in the Parish Council. Tragedy enters the story with one of the families living on the council estate, whose problems include drug abuse, rape and unwanted pregnancy.
"I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television and I think the BBC is the perfect home." Rowling said, adding that she was "thrilled" about the commission, the BBC reports.
BBC One controller Danny Cohen is also excited about the acquisition. "[Her] story-telling is of course peerless in its popularity, and I am looking forward to collaborating with her," he said, quoted by the Metro. "This project highlights the ambition and scale of BBC1 drama, as well as the ability of modern television to attract the world's biggest talent and most exciting creative ideas."
The novel had very mixed reviews, but it's a poignant take on contemporary British concerns and stigmas. In many ways it's comparable to Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up! and more recently A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka- both of which would also be brilliant on screen. Rick Senat is set to produce the adaptation, which will be on our televisions at some time in 2014.