‘Top of the Lake producer See-Saw Films is adapting C J Skuse’s novel Sweetpea for Sky Atlantic.
The company, which also makes SundanceTV’s short-form series State of the Union, is developing the comedy drama, which is described as American Psycho-meets-Fleabag, written by Pure writer Kirstie Swain. The hope is that it will turn into an eight-part order.
The book, which was published in 2017, chronicles a year in the life of an ambitious but bored young woman living and working in a small British town. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying, but outside of work she turns to altogether darker, grislier pursuits. Because the girl everyone overlooks might just be able to get away with murder.
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Swain, who was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit earlier today, will write and exec produce. Swain, who started out on the BBC Writers Academy, penned all six episodes of Channel 4 female-focused comedy drama Pure and has also worked on BBC Three and Pop TV’s Clique and CBBC drama Eve. She is currently developing projects with Broadchurch producer Kudos and Killing Eve producer Sid Gentle.
See-Saw optioned the book in 2017 and at the time, Patrick Walters, Development Executive for See-Saw Films, said the team was “blown away” by the book. He said, “C.J. Skuse has crafted a hero who is both admirable and fearsome, moral yet conflicted, loving but full of anger. Not only is the novel laugh-out-loud funny and propulsive in its thrills and spills, it struck us as that rarer thing still, a powerful meditation on love and hate, and what happens when you have too much of both. It will be truly unmissable television.”
C J Skuse added, “I had a crazy dream in my head that one day someone might want to put one of my books on screen. To say that I’m happy See-Saw Films are making my crazy dream come true is an understatement. I’m truly overjoyed to be working with them on Sweetpea and I know they’ll look after her well. I can’t wait to see Rhiannon brought to life.”
Sweetpea was commissioned by Sky Studios’ Director of Drama, Cameron Roach and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content. Patrick Walters, Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman executive produce for See-Saw Films, and Liz Lewin executive produces for Sky Studios.’