Jamaican author Marlon James lands series order at HBO and UK’s Channel 4 for ‘Get Millie Black’

Jamaican-born author, Marlon James

Jamaica-born author Marlon James has landed a series order from movie channel HBO and the UK’s Channel 4 for Get Millie Black, a crime drama set in Jamaica.

According to several international news sources, WarnerMedia-owned premium network and the British public broadcaster are co-producing the six-part series.

James, who won the coveted Man Booker Prize back in 2015 for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, will be responsible for writing and executively producing the series.

Get Millie Black’s storyline will follow ex-Scotland Yard detective Millie-Jean Black, who returns to Kingston to work on missing person cases for the Jamaican police. However, Black soon picks up the trail of an investigation that begins in the steaming streets of downtown Kingston and works its way up to the hill plantations of the post-colonial elite. Events eventually explode onto the international stage, propelling Millie back to the UK, where pretty soon everyone is out to get Millie Black.

This is James’s first television series. Filming on the project is set to start in 2022 in Jamaica and the UK.

James shared that Millie’s character was inspired by his mother. 

 “My mother was one of the first policewomen in Jamaica to make detective,” James told Deadline Hollywood, noting that, “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,” he continued.

 “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.”

Marlon James

Meanwhile, commenting on the series, Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said that James has done something extraordinary with ‘Get Millie Black’.

“He is one of the most prolific and imaginative authors of our time and we’re honoured that he has entrusted HBO with this thrilling and deeply personal story,” she said. “With Get Millie Black, Marlon James has achieved the extraordinary, invigorating noir storytelling by bringing it to his native Jamaica through a dazzling mosaic of shifting perspectives.”

Motive Pictures’ CEO Simon Maxwell also told Deadline Hollywood that after setting the literary world “on fire” with his novels, the company is “proud to be producing his first original work for the screen.”

Dubbing Get Millie Black 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,” Maxwell said James has created  “a noir tour-de-force.”