Eighteen years after its first publication, "The Pillars of the Earth", considered by most to be Ken Follett’s masterpiece, is once again Number #1 on the New York Times trade paperback list. Originally published in 1989, the book has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide and recently was picked by Oprah Winfrey as a selection for her book club.
Munich-based Tandem Communications has just acquired the rights to develop the bestseller into an eight-hour miniseries for TV. Ridley Scott (Gladiator) and Tony Scott’s (Spy Game) production company, Scott Free Television, will be producing this series together with Tandem.
"Ken Follett’s story-telling artistry presents a richness and brilliance we dream about when searching for outstanding properties,” says Ridley Scott. “The scope and power of the story and the richness of the characters inspires us to create the highest quality television programming."
"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.
It was reported that the production budget for the series may be as much as $2 million an episode.