BBC adapting movie classic Dangerous Liaisons for TV

Dangerous Liaisons is being adapted for television for a new BBC series.

The screenplay will be written by Christopher Hampton who previously adapted Choderlos de Laclos' classic 18th Century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses for the stage and for the Oscar-winning 1988 film, which starred Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer (pictured).

The elaborate drama centres on ex-lovers and bitter rivals Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont who enjoy seducing and humiliating other people for their own enjoyment.

But when Vicomte de Valmont sets out to seduce the virtuous Madame de Tourvel his plans backfire when he ends up falling in love.

Hampton has teamed with producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender for the new TV adaptation, which is in development at the BBC. Once Hampton finishes the script, the project is expected to be taken out to US networks, Deadline reported.

Hampton will be going back to the original literary source and won't incorporate any elements of his stage or film adaptations. He also plans to incorporate other novels from the 18th century French libertine literary movement .

Dangerous Liaisons was previously adapted for a TV mini-series starring Catherine Deneuve and Rupert Everett in 2003, and the book was also the basis for Roger Kumble's 1999 film Cruel Intentions, starring Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Reese Witherspoon.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.