The two companies have optioned Jonathan Rugman’s The Killing in the Consulate: Investigating the Life and Death of Jamal Khashoggi, which is published this month by Simon & Schuster.
It comes a year after Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Eye In The Sky writer Guy Hibbert has come on board to adapt the book, which includes interviews with the likes of Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz as well as access to the Turkish investigation.
The rights were picked up from James Carroll at Northbank Talent Management.
Two Cities Television is a BBC Studios-backed firm run by Michael Jackson, the former President of Programming at USA Entertainment, Chairman of Universal Television and President of Programming for IAC, and Wall to Wall founder Alex Graham. Line of Duty and The Fall commissioner Stephen Wright is Creative Director at the business, which is also developing TV series based on Michael Wolff’s Donald Trump epic Fire and Fury and David Burke’s book The Spy Who Came In From The Co-Op: Melita Norwood and the Ending of Cold War Espionage.
Wright said, “Four time BAFTA-winner Guy Hibbert with his track record in factual drama makes him the perfect screenwriter to adapt this story.”
Maria Zuckerman, executive vice president of Topic Studios, added, “This important story deserves to be told, in full, to a global audience. We and Two Cities feel that Guy, with his ability to bring challenging true stories so vividly to the screen with deep humanity, will do it justice.”
Rugman said, “It was shocking to return to Istanbul to report on the killing and dismemberment of a fellow journalist and the attempt to cover up the crime. My book bears witness to Jamal’s life as well as to his death. His story needs to be told and it should never be forgotten.”