The Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James has had his screenwriting debut, Get Millie Black, greenlit by Channel 4 and HBO.
The six-part crime noir follows the police detective Millie-Jean Black, who is forced to quit Scotland Yard and move back to Jamaica.
Upon her return, she begins working missing persons cases for the Jamaican force. She soon picks up an investigation that works its way from downtown Kingston all the way up to the plantations of the post-colonial elite.
When the case goes global, it propels her back to the UK where soon everyone is out to get Millie Black.
Marlon James said: “My mother was one of the first policewomen in Jamaica to make detective. Storytelling has always struck me first and foremost as a mystery to be solved—which I’m sure I got from her.
“Millie, from the second she appeared in my imagination was a brilliant, mercurial, hilarious, unpredictable force of nature; someone who was always there, just waiting for her story to be told. I didn’t create her, I found her.”
Millie identifies as both British and Jamaican, but somehow she belongs to neither. Through her unique perspective, the series will explore the legacies of racism, slavery, sexuality and classism in the post-colonial landscape of the two countries.
Other characters include the transgender ‘gully queen’ Hibiscus, the sibling Millie left behind in London, her talented partner in the Jamaican force, Curtis, who is forced to cover up his love life from his colleagues, the manipulative Scotland Yard Inspector, Luke Osbourne, and the go-go-club owner and criminal entrepreneur, Hit Girl.
Simon Maxwell, CEO of Motive Pictures, the producers of the series, said: “Marlon James has set the literary world on fire with his novels and we’re so proud to be producing his first original work for the screen.
“With Get Millie Black, he’s created a noir tour-de-force, an unrelenting, uncompromising ride through the Anglo-Jamaican underworld that will grip and entertain whilst shining a light into the darkest recesses of our post-colonial legacy.
Get Millie Black will begin filming in the UK and Jamaica in 2022.