Jane Tranter’s LA division of BBC Worldwide Productions is working with HBO to develop a high-profile dramatisation of Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
The project is understood to still be in its infancy, but the two organisations are mapping out a 5 x 60-minute series based on Richard Rhodes’ account of how nuclear weapons were first created.
The drama is in development at BBCW’s Los Angeles base – where Tranter is executive vice-president of programming and production. Actor Paul Giamatti (Sideways/John Adams) is involved in bringing the story to screen and is likely to take a role in the show.
He will be an executive producer with producing partner Dan Carey, while former Prime Suspect writer Peter Berry, who also scripted BBC1 and Masterpiece series The Last Enemy, has been signed up to pen the dramatisation.
Tranter will pick up an exec credit, alongside former Doctor Who and Torchwood producer Julie Gardner and Angie Stephenson, BBCW’s senior vice-president of programming, co-productions and acquisitions.
The drama, which will be set in Germany, England and the US, is yet to be greenlit by HBO and no UK broadcasters are currently attached.
The Making Of The Atomic Bomb was published in 1986 and charts – in human, political and scientific detail – how the weapon was developed, from early nuclear discoveries at the turn of the 20th century, to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan in 1945.
The book scooped the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 1988, as well as the National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award in the US.
Tranter’s LA team is currently preparing to go into production on Da Vinci’s Demons, an ambitious historical fantasy drama exploring the early life of Leonardo da Vinci, for Starz.
BBCW declined to comment.
This article was first published in Broadcast.