Canadian poet and novelist Michael Ondaatje’s award-winning novel The English Patient is being adapted once again, this time for the small screen.
Most famously adapted into the 1996 romantic historical drama starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche and Kristin Scott-Thomas, “The English Patient” was nominated for 12 Academy Awards. It won nine Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Anthony Minghella and Best Supporting Actress for Binoche for her portrayal as a French-Canadian nurse in Italy during WWII.
Now, the BBC is developing a new version for TV from “Run” writer Emily Ballou, which will be co-produced with Miramax Television and Paramount Television Studios.
According to Deadline, the series will not be a remake of the film, but a new interpretation of Ondaatje’s 1992 story focussed on four dissimilar people who are brought together in an Italian villa during WWII. The novel charts the intertwining lives of a patient burned beyond recognition (played by Fiennes in the film), a Canadian nurse (Binoche), a Canadian thief (played by Willem Dafoe in the film) and a Sikh British Army sapper (played by Naveed Andrews in the film). The story meanders between the patient’s memories of the campaign leading up to WWII in North Africa and the current events as they transpire in the villa.
The project is one of several adaptations of existing Miramax-backed films in the works by Miramax Television. Also being adapted for TV is a new take on Guy Ritchie’s action-comedy “The Gentlemen”, Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi horror “Mimic” and a version of Jim Cartwright’s play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice which was previous made into the 1998 film “Little Voice” with Ewan McGregor, Michael Caine and Brenda Blethyn.
Production is expected to take place in the UK while no further details on casting or release dates have been announced at this time.