Carol producers Number 9 Films are teaming up with RED for their first TV project’ .It will be an adaptation of Henry James’ seminal 1881 novel, Portrait of A Lady.
Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films will Executive Produce alongside Nicola Shindler (The Five, Happy Valley) of RED . Studiocanal are set to handle worldwide distribution.
In Portrait Of A Lady, Isabel Archer. A vivacious New World ingénue, leaves America for Old World Europe. She is keen to experience all that life has to offer. She rejects a series of marriage proposals from eager but safe lovers for a life of independence. But when she inherits an unexpected fortune that will grant her desires, she falls prey to two American ex-pat schemers. The elegant Madame Merle and the charming but cruel and calculating Gilbert Osmond and is lured into a marriage with unfortunate consequences.
Elizabeth Karlsen, co-founder and executive producer, Number 9 Films said: “We have long been admirers of Nicola’s ground breaking work in television. She has built an extraordinary company and creative team that we feel privileged to be collaborating with on our first outing into television. We believe we share a sensibility with Nicola of being drawn towards material with complex and compelling female lead characters, which is one of the defining elements of Portrait of A Lady.”
Nicola Shindler, founder of RED Production Company commented: “Elizabeth and Stephen have produced some of the most acclaimed and engaging feature films of recent years and I am delighted to be working with them on their first television project. Having been originally published as a monthly serial, and addressing themes of personal freedom, betrayal and modernization, Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady lends itself perfectly to the long-form storytelling that only TV can offer.”
Portrait of a Lady is a gripping drama, an unconventional romance and a coming of age story in the ‘Americans in Europe’ genre, with a dazzling heroine at its centre. Though written and set in the late 19th century, it is also a contemporary tale of a woman striving for her freedom in a world that seeks to trap her, not only with its expectations, but its temptations – romance, money and glamour.
This is Henry James at his most masterful storytelling with an epic sweep that unfolds across the New World and the Old. From New York and Boston to London, Florence and Rome.