Jane Austen's unfinished final novel, Sanditon, is being developed for ITV in Britain and PBS Masterpiece in the U.S., Variety reported. Andrew Davies (Pride and PrejudiceI, Mr. Selfridge, War and Peace) is writing the eight-part series, with Tony Jordan's Red Planet Pictures producing. Filming is set to begin next spring.
"It's a rich, romantic, family saga built upon the foundations Jane Austen laid," said Polly Hill, head of drama at ITV (Downton Abbey, Victoria). "There is no one better to adapt her unfinished novel than Andrew, who has an incredible track record for bold and original adaptations."
Executive producer Belinda Campbell of Red Planet Pictures added: "Andrew Davies' compelling scripts bear all the hallmarks of the biting social commentary and realism that makes Jane Austen one of the most widely read writers in English literature."
"Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died--but what a fragment," said Davies, who will also exec produce. "It's been a privilege and a thrill for me to develop 'Sanditon' into a TV drama for a modern audience."