The BBC is developing a TV series based on iconic Steve McQueen film The Great Escape.

The broadcaster is in the early stages of the project, which is being developed as a serial, after striking a deal with GK-TV and Open Circle.

The latter is a US indie set up by former Lionsgate exec Craig Cegielski, who acquired the rights to The Great Escape.

The agreement is understood to be part of the BBC’s deal with Cegielski to remake Anne Holt’s detective novels. BBC1 is currently developing the novel 1222 from the book series, in which wheelchair-bound female detective Hanne Wilhelmsen investigates the deaths of survivors from a train crash in the Norwegian mountains. All3Media’s Company Pictures will produce the project.

Cegielski set up Open Circle after he left GK-TV, the television arm of Graham King’s film firm, earlier this year. He has subsequently joined Fremantle Media North America as executive vicepresident, scripted programming and development, but Fremantle is not currently involved in the two projects.

The Great Escape is a 1963 film about Allied soldiers who escape from a German prisoner of war camp during World War II.

The film, which was produced by the Mirisch Company and United Artists, is based on the book by Paul Brickhill.

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