Streaming service Peacock have ordered a series adaptation of Frederick Forsyth‘s espionage thriller The Day Of The Jackal as part of a partnership with Sky. Irish screenwriter Ronan Bennett will write and serve as showrunner, while Brian Kirk will be the main director.
The Day Of The Jackal follows a professional assassin who is contracted by the OAS, a French dissident paramilitary organisation, to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.
The novel, published in 1971, received acclaim and was quickly adapted into a 1973 film of the same name that was also well liked. There was also a 1997 remake – simply titled The Jackal – that starred Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, and Sidney Poitier that wasn’t received nearly as well.
This series is being described as a contemporary reimagining that will remain true to the source material but intends to dive deeper into the anti-hero of the story, set against a backdrop of a turbulent geopolitical landscape.
Carnival Films will help develop the project. Lisa Katz, president of scripted content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, described the show as an “updated, timely, political thriller,” adding: “shepherded by novelist and showrunner Ronan Bennett and Carnival, this action-packed high-stakes drama is sure to be an edge-of-your-seat adventure for Peacock audiences.”
Meghan Lyvers, director of original drama at Sky Studios UK and Ireland, added: “we cannot wait to bring this premium, cinematic, globe-trotting series to Sky audiences across Europe.”
The thrilling concept at the heart of The Day Of The Jackal remains as timely as ever, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to adapt the story to contemporary times. How the tightly wound tale will work as a longer series is a different question.
No casting details have been revealed yet. The show is expected to go into production next summer.