Anees Salim’s The Small Town Sea and Manu Pillai’s The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore – two of the most critically acclaimed books from Kerala – will soon be adapted to screen. On Monday, Harper Collins Publishers, India, released a press note saying that the rights for Manu’s award-winning book have been optioned to Arka Mediaworks, the studio behind the Baahubali franchise.
The book that focuses on the life of the last queen of Travancore, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi – born nearly a hundred years before Manu – became a bestseller in days, and went on to win several awards later. The press release quotes Harper Collins CEO Ananth Padmanabhan as saying, ‘We’re thrilled that Manu’s magnificent book is now one step closer to finding new life on screen. Manu’s page-turning narration, with the incredible cast of characters makes The Ivory Throne one of the most awaited book-to-screen adaptations from India. We’re also delighted that the book is in the capable hands of the team at Arka Mediaworks who rewrote cinematic grandeur with the Baahubali films and I’m confident we’re going to see an adaptation that’ll be appreciated by viewers all over the world.”
Producer Shobu Yarlagadda tweeted: "We are mostly looking to adapt the book to original series and not a movie. Only a series can do justice to the depth and extent of the material in the book!"
On Tuesday, Kanishka Gupta, literary agent, wrote on Facebook that his award winning author Anees Salim’s novel The Small Town Sea would be made into a major Malayalam film. The author followed suit and posted the news in Malayalam, adding that it would be directed by Shyamaprasad.
The Small Town Sea is a book that Anees calls semi-autobiographical. The book – Anees’s fifth – is set in a small town that the author doesn’t name, but you can guess is Varkala, where he grew up, learning to love books. In the book, you find the thoughts of a young boy moving to the small town, which unexpectedly is full of events.