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HBO Buys Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings

Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings gets optioned by HBO

HBO has optioned the screen rights for Marlon James’ celebrated third novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. The novel, published in the US by Riverhead Books in 2014 made it the more than a dozen best books of the year lists. A Brief History has already been translated in several languages, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle and earned the OCM Bocas Fiction Prize for Caribbean Literature and Anisfield-Wolf Fiction Prize.

Loosely based on the 1976 attempted assassination of Bob Marley, and featuring gangsters, CIA agents and more than seven killings spanning three decades, A Brief History, quickly shows itself to have all the ingredients that an HBO epic series longs for. 

While there is no word yet on the proposed production date, according to Bookseller.com HBO plans to produce an on-going series scripted by Eric Roth (Munich, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Forrest Gump). 

James’ debut novel John Crow’s Devil (Akashic Books) appeared in 2005, followed by The Book of Night Women (Riverhead Books, 2009). 

British independent publisher Oneworld will be releasing the paperback edition of A Brief History of Seven Killings in June as well as John Crow’s Devil in November. 

With one of James’ upcoming writing projects being a series based on African myths, which he describes as “an African Game of Thrones”, there may well be many more adaptations in his future.