Ken Follett‘s international bestseller The Pillars of the Earth has been optioned to be made into a limited television series to be produced by Ridley Scott and Tony Scott.
Set in 12th-century England, The Pillars of the Earth is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty. This sensuous, spirited and passionate story is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that time, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge.
Against this backdrop, love-stories entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age. Follett masterfully weaves these stories through the political turmoil of 12th century England, creating a relevant and viable world for today’s audience and for generations to come.
The Pillars of the Earth has been translated into 30 languages and, to date, has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. In 2007, The Pillars of the Earth was named Oprah Winfrey’s 60th Book Club Selection; it is ranked 33rd on BBC’s 2003 ‘The Big Read’ as one of the top 100 books ever printed. The Pillars of the Earth was chosen 27th out of the ‘101 Books to Read Before You Die’ and is ranked the third most popular book ever printed in Germany after The Bible and The Lord of the Rings.
Tandem Communications, which previously picked up the Dune miniseries for the SCI FI Channel, spent over eight years trying to acquire the rights to Follett’s novel, first published in 1989. The Scott brothers will produce Pillars through their company Scott Free, which will see the premiere next month on A&E’s of their four-hour adaptation of Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.