Terry Pratchett‘s beloved novel series Discworld will soon get its first major screen adaptation. The BBC’s upcoming The Watch is an adaptation of his set of eight City Watch stories. It follows overworked cops in the magical city of Ankh-Morpork, but that group of misfit police officers is only one part of the late author’s classic fantasy series. It includes 41 books total. Along with short stories, “mapps,” and more.” Those tales feature many memorable characters and places worth exploring. A now they’re going to get their chance to come to life. Pratchett’s production company Narrativia has signed a deal to expand the Discworld universe. But where and how it’s expanding is unclear.
Narrativia, which Pratchett himself founded, has agreed to an “exclusive” development deal (we first heard about at Deadline) with Endeavor Content and Motive Pictures. The announcement says they will “create truly authentic” projects. These works will “bring the Discworld universe to life in a series of definitive screen adaptations.”
“Discworld teems with unique characters, witty narrative and incredible literary tropes, and we feel these should be realised on screen in a form that my father would be proud of,” said Rhianna Pratchett, Co-Director of Narrativia. “It’s wonderful to embark on this journey with Motive and Endeavor Content, who both perfectly share our vision to make this a reality.”
While the announcement was full of praise for the series, it was light on details. It doesn’t say what what these “prestige adaptations” will entail. It’s unclear if it will mean more TV shows, limited-run series, or feature length films. It’s also unknown what this could mean for the future of BBC’s The Watch. Will it be a one-and-done series when it premieres later this year? Is this a sign some are unhappy with the BBC’s adaptation?
Even if the BBC continues on with their adaptation of Pratchett’s City Watch series this new production agreement will have plenty of material to pull from. Discworld explores plenty of other stories with compelling characters. That includes sequences like “Rincewind” (about a wizard who lacks any skill), “Witches,” “Death,” “Moist von Lipwig” (a professional conman), “Wizards,” “Tiffany Aching” (a young witch apprentice), and other novels that explore the cultures of Pratchett’s fantasy world.
With so much to pull from, Discworld could come to both our TVs and the silver screen. That’s a fantasy Terry Pratchett fans have long hoped would become a reality.
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