Following its launch late last year, Yellow Bird UK, a Banijay Group company, today announces the option of the television rights to Straight White Male. At turns heartbreaking and hilarious, the novel – which follows the personal and professional misadventures of unreconstructed Irish writer, Kennedy Marr – is set to be adapted for screen by its bestselling author, John Niven (Kill Your Friends, The Second Coming, The Sunshine Cruise Company).
For fifteen years, Kennedy Marr has lived the high life in L.A., womanizing, writing movies, and spending every dollar he earns. He’s got away with it because he’s charming and talented and delivers when it matters; a literary wunderkind whose novels took him from humble roots in Cork, Ireland, to Hollywood success, via a doomed marriage.
But now, time – in the form of a huge unpaid tax bill – has caught up with Kennedy. To keep the IRS at bay, he’s forced to return to England, to accept a lucrative prize from the English department of a red brick university in deepest Warwickshire.
The series will be executive produced by Yellow Bird UK’s Berna Levin (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hidden and upcoming The Girl in the Spider’s Web) and Luke Franklin (The Man in the High Castle, Ransom, Parade’s End).
John Niven comments: “I’ve long thought that Straight White Male had all the ingredients for a great TV series, and that Kennedy Marr’s singular approach to life and love is more relevant than ever. Getting the chance to develop the show with Yellow Bird UK, who share my passion for this character, feels ridiculously fortunate.”
Berna Levin, Creative Director for Yellow Bird adds: “In his brilliant novel, John Niven not only skewers the crisis of contemporary masculinity in a compassionate, comic, and provocative way, but he’s created one of the most memorable fictional anti-heroes of our time, Kennedy Marr. Kennedy often says what we all wish we could say, and his undeniable flaws mask a compelling, emotionally engaging character, who I’m thrilled we’re bringing to life on screen.”
Straight White Male acts as the second project from Yellow Bird UK following its recent announcement of Young Wallander, which has been commissioned by Netflix.