No road blocks on the Jellicoe Road

December 3 2019

ZDF Enterprises, Werner Film Productions and Wild Sheep Content (Erik Barmack) have signed a development agreement for a young adult drama series.

The partners shall jointly develop a series based on the book On the Jellicoe Road by Australian author Melina Marchetta, who is best known as the author of teen novels (Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca). The novel was first published in Australia in 2006, where it was awarded the 2008 West Australia Young Readers Book (WAYRB) Award for Older Readers. It was later published in the United States in 2008 under the abbreviated title Jellicoe Road and went on to win the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association.

On the Jellicoe Road centers around 17-year-old Taylor Markham, leader of the boarding school underground community on Jellicoe Road. Taylor was abandoned by her mother when she was 11, and her only recollection of her father is a brief memory of standing on her father's shoulders. The only adult influence in her life is her mentor and guardian Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river, and writes stories about five kids who lived there in the 1980s and who has suddenly vanished into thin air at a time when Taylor really needs her.

To top all of Taylor’s problems off, there is a territory war going on between the Boarders, the Townies (kids from Jellicoe Town) and the Cadets (Sydney boys who come to Jellicoe for a six-week training exercise every year). The leader of the cadets this year happens to be the very boy who Taylor ran away with when she was 14 in search of her mother. The one who betrayed her trust and she never wanted to see again.

The series, created by Melina Marchetta will start development as early as December 2019 with Marchetta penning the pilot script.