William Golding‘s classic novel Lord of the Flies is heading back to the screen, this time as a television adaptation. Recently, the BBC announced that a four-episode adaptation of the novel is in the works. Each episode is set to be one-hour long, and the show will air on BBC One and play on BBC iPlayer.
Though several key creative and cast roles remain unfilled for now, the upcoming series has already found its writer with multi-BAFTA award-winner Jack Thorne. With him on board, it already seems the show is in good hands, as Thorne has previously worked on page-to-screen adaptations in his career. Most recently, Thorne is known for his work on HBO‘s His Dark Materials, a three season show based on the Philip Pullman book trilogy. Thorne has also found success with adapted projects such as Wonder, The Secret Garden (2020), and Enola Holmes.
Thorne will executive produce alongside the BBC‘s Nawal Faizullah, and Eleven‘s Jamie Campbell and Joel Wilson (both of whom worked on Sex Education). The show is an Eleven production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. It is backed by Sony Pictures Television.
What Is Lord of the Flies About?
First published in 1954, Golding‘s sharp novel follows a group of schoolboys who become trapped on an island after a plane crash. With no adults around to supervise them, the boys relish their accidental freedom, living what first seems to be an ideal life. However, in the group’s attempt to remain civil — including putting their own system of leadership in place — things only grow worse, sending the boys into a vicious downward spiral. The book went on to receive multiple film adaptations, first in the 1960s by director Peter Brook. Nearly 30 years later, it was adapted again in 1990, which became the more recognized of the two. As of 2020, another film adaptation by Luca Guadagnino is in the works, though no additional updates have been announced since.
In a statement about the upcoming series, BBC Drama director Lindsay Salt said:
“We are so excited that Jack Thorne will be adapting such an iconic, timeless and much-loved novel for television for the very first time – and that the adaptation has been endorsed by the late William Golding’s family. It’s a formidable writing and production team that will bring these definitive characters to life for all generations.”
Lord of the Flies does not yet have a projected release date or release window.