Advanced Television

Freedom Scripted to adapt Sebastian Faulks’ Engleby

April 10, 2024

Glasgow-based, Channel 4-backed indie Freedom Scripted is adapting Engleby, the cult 2007 novel by bestselling author Sebastian Faulks.

Set between London and Cambridge, the six-part drama is a quintessential British murder mystery meets acute psychological character study, with a healthy dose of dark wit. The series follows enigmatic outsider Mike Engleby as he graduates from 1970s campus life to 1980s Fleet Street and beyond – haunted all the while by an unsolved mystery involving a friend and fellow student during their university days.

Noah Jupe is attached to play Engleby. Jupe, known for his roles in The Undoing, The Night Manager and A Quiet Place among others, is appearing opposite Michael Douglas in the upcoming Apple TV+ series Franklin, out this April.

Freedom Scripted has also attached Michael Keillor as director. Keillor’s recent work includes Jack Thorne’s critically acclaimed drama Best Interests with Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan, and he is currently working on the BBC/Netflix drama, Lockerbie.

Celebrated stage and screenwriters Ryan Craig (Filthy Business, Our Class, The Musketeers) and Jess Ruston (Geek Girl, Harlots, Young Wallander) are attached to pen the series, with Freedom Scripted’s MD Mike Ellen executive producing.

Keillor, Director, said: “It’s an honour to bring the fascinating and mercurial character of Engleby to life with Ryan, Jess and the whole team at Freedom Scripted”.

Jupe stated: “I’m excited to be working with Freedom on bringing to screen one of Faulks’ most beguiling and chilling characters.”

Ruston said: “Engleby is one of the most uniquely memorable voices in contemporary fiction – the blend of sharp intelligence, deep dysfunction, wry humour in this ultimate outsider make him an irresistible character”.

Craig commented: “Like the best thrillers, Engleby makes you feel complicit in the action and breathless at every twist in the plot… I can think of few stories that lend themselves so perfectly to TV drama”. 

Ellen added: “True Crime can be compelling, but also at times exploitative and misleading. In Engleby which sprung from the brilliant mind of Sebastian Faulks, we tackle the reliability or otherwise of narration, and ultimately ‘make it up to tell the truth’ about a tragic set of very real feeling, fictional events. Ryan and Jess are working with a respected forensic psychiatrist to make sure we get things right, as well as produce a highly bingeable drama.”

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