A small screen adaptation of Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient is in development at BBC. Hailing from writer Emily Ballou, the drama series will take on a new interpretation of the novel which follows four dissimilar people brought together at an Italian villa during World war II.
Further, the series will not be a remake of the 1996 feature adaptation. Originally published in 1992, the book follows an unrecognisable burned man — the eponymous patient, presumed to be English — his Canadian Army nurse, a Sikh British Army sapper and a Canadian thief.
Set during the North African and Italian campaigns of the Second World War, the book is told out of sequence and moves back and forth between the patient’s memories before his accident and the current evens at the bomb-damaged Italian monastery.
The series is a co-production between Miramax Television and Paramount Television Studios. Writer Ballou is an Australian-American poet, novelist and screenwriter.
She was a supervising producer on HBO’s Run and a creative consultant on Steven Knight, Tom Hardy and Ridley Scott’s series Taboo.