Like most of JK Rowling’s literary projects, The Casual Vacancy’s release in 2012 was shrouded in secrecy. But an announcement that
the book will be turned into a miniseries? Not so much.
Her “pretty little town of Pagford” will get the small-screen treatment as a three-hour miniseries, to be co-produced by HBO and the BBC. The BBC announced in 2012 that the book would be adapted for television.
The novel was Rowling’s first attempt to write for an adult readership, and while it received mixed reviews, it became a bestseller. As scandal takes centre stage, the material certainly seems in keeping with its HBO bedfellows, such as True Blood, True Detective and Game of Thrones: “Pagford is of course a hot-bed of seething antagonism, rampant snobbery, sexual frustration and ill-disguised racism,” wrote the Guardian’s Theo Tait in his initial review. “The Casual Vacancy has all the satisfactions and frustrations of this kind of novel.”
HBO is owned by Time Warner Inc, and Rowling has a fruitful history with the company: her Harry Potter films grossed upwards of $7.7bn/£4.6bn worldwide. Even though The Casual Vacancy is aimed at an adult readership, the miniseries may well broaden the book’s fanbase, as Harry Potter readers enter their 20s (or 30s, or 40s). Diehard Potter fans – like @Jess_The_Muggle – are already tweeting their casting wishes.