After two years of development, the planned TV series adaptation of Stuart Turton’s award-winning novel The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle has been cancelled by Netflix.
Turton broke the news in a now-deleted tweet: “Alright pals, I come bearing bad news,” he wrote. “Netflix has canned its plans to make a telly adaptation of Seven Deaths. Sad news, but thems the breaks. We’re looking for another home for it, but the focus at the minute is making sure it’s fucking brilliant when it does arrive.”
The much-anticipated adaptation was announced in December 2020 along with seven other Netflix originals that included Man vs Bee, starring Rowan Atkinson. House Productions’ Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross were set to executive produce the project along with an emerging screenwriter, Sophie Petzal, who was also due to pen the screenplay
Seven Lives was described as a high-concept murder mystery set during a weekend party at a crumbling mansion where the narrator must repeat the same day over and over again until he can identify the killer of the beautiful young heiress, Evelyn Hardcastle, and break the cycle.”
The series is based on Turton’s 2018 novel of the same name, which won the Costa First Novel award and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards Debut of The Year. House Productions, which is owned by BBC Studios, acquired TV rights to the book in 2018.
This isn’t the only project from that 2020 originals slate to have been axed. Of the seven projects included alongside Seven Lives, only four were given the green light: Baby Reindeer, Half Bad, Lockwood & Co, and Man Vs Bee. Of course, Half Bad – adapted by Joe Barton of Girl/Haji fame – was cancelled in December 2022. It seems that as Netflix attempts to remould itself following a slump in subscribers, show creators are the ones losing out.