The forthcoming book, “The New Odyssey: The Story of the European Refugee Crisis,” from British author Patrick Kingsley, which won’t be published until May, 2016, has been optioned by producer Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment, to be adapted for TV, as a series.
The timely pick up comes as Europe faces a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II, and Kingsley’s book promises to cover the matter in more depth and breadth than any other before it. I should note that Kingsley is also the UK’s Guardian chief migration correspondent, who, according to his website, traveled to 17 countries throughout 2015, along the so-called “migrant trail,” meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach Europe.
The book says it will provide an unparalleled account of who the voyagers are (many of them Africans), why they keep coming, how they do it, the smugglers who help them on the way, the coastguards who rescue them at the other end, the volunteers that feed them, the hoteliers that house them, the border guards trying to keep them out, and the politicians at the center of the debates of what to do with them.
No ETA on when the series can be expected, or whether it’ll be made for American TV. But it’s certainly something to keep an eye on as progress is made. A TV series makes sense here, as this is such a complex and thorny subject, with many players, as well as a history behind it all that will have to be unpacked, if it’s to be handled properly.
Films recently covered on this blog, like Jonas Carpignano’s “Mediterranea,” have tackled the subject matter, although more on the micro level, honing in on singular stories of trial and triumph.
Deadline was first to report the news.