The first three books in Wilbur Smith's best-selling "Courtney" series of novels have been acquired by Corona Pictures for TV adaptation.
"Birds of Prey," "Monsoon" and "Blue Horizon" will be adapted into several series for a worldwide television audience, the company said Tuesday.
Spanning three generations of the Courtney family, the novel series chronicles the clan's battles to secure its fortunes in 17th-century Africa, where "sea-faring empires, marauding pirates and the people who already live there" fight it out for control of the land and its treasures.
In all, Rhodesian-born author Smith has sold about 130 million copies of his books worldwide.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Wilbur's work to the screen," Corona principals Richard Johns and Rupert Jermyn said of the acquisition. "So many people in so many countries have loved his books, and we now see a great new audience for his stories."
Added Jeremy Trevathan, Smith's publisher at Pan Macmillan, "It's terrific to see that the potential for film and TV drama in Wilbur's fiction is being recognized and we're delighted to be working with Corona to bring the Courtney novels to a new generation whether it be on the small screen or through his fantastic backlist."