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Jonathan Trigell

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In the Britain of a few tomorrows time, physical perfection is commonplace and self improvement has become an extinct expression: all the qualities men and women could aspire to can be purchased prior to birth. GENUS is a time of genetic selection and enrichment - life chances come on a sliding scale according to wealth. For some there is no money or choice, and an underclass has evolved; London's King's Cross, or The Kross as it is now known, has become a ghetto for the Unimproved. In The Kross, the natural, the dated, the cheap and the dull, live a brittle and unenviable existence. But unrest is growing; tension is mounting and a murderer is abroad in these dark quarters... Acclaimed author Jonathan Trigell's third novel is a breathtaking tour de force, exploring a dystopia of the not-too-distant-a future which will leave readers wondering not 'what if', as the original audience of Huxley's Brave New World did, but 'when'.


Action, Apocalyptic, Crime, Detective, Mystery, Political, Sci-Fi, War

Short Summary

In a near-future London, genetic enhancement has become common-place, and those against or unable to afford the technology are fast becoming an underclass. In the semi-ghetto of 'The Kross' a disabled artist finds a body. We learn about this intriguing dystopian world, as the investigation begins.

What appeared to be a series of murders, which linked all the central characters, unravels, through a series of twists, into a governmental level conspiracy to create a terror threat as an excuse to repress the underclass and ultimately impose a genetic apartheid.


A future London, with echoes of the hedonistic Montmartre of 'fin de siecle' Paris.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Rebellion Against 'The One'

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message, Philosophical Questions, Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity, Nudity, Substance Abuse

Main Character Details

Name: Gunt - Detective Günther Charles Bonnet

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: Skeptic

Key Traits: Aggressive, Confident, Crazy, Criminal, Desperate, Narcissistic, Sexy, Badass, Blunt, Complex, Heartthrob, Masculine, Lone Wolf, Perseverance, Unapologetic, Beautiful, Decisive, Secretive, Underdog, Villainous,Confident,Crazy,Narcisstic,Desperate,Sexy,Badass,Blunt,Complex,Masculine,Heartthrob,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Decisive,Underdog,Secretive,Villainous

Additional Character Details

Name: Holman Prometheus

Age: 30

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Clumsy, Sarcastic, Underdog, Visionary, Educated, Engaging, Insecure, Modest,Sarcastic,Underdog,Visionary,Educated,Engaging,Modest,Insecure

Additional Character Details

Name: Adele Nicole

Age: 50

Gender: Female

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Religious, Seductive, Sexy, Sophisticated, Beautiful, Charming, Complex, Decisive, Empathetic, Engaging, Gracious, Heartthrob,Seductive,Sexy,Sophisticated,Charming,Decisive,Complex,Empathetic,Engaging,Gracious,Heartthrob

Additional Character Details

Name: Quigley Regan

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Badass, Criminal, Lone Wolf, Strong Moral Code, Villainous, Aspiring, Desperate, Honorable, Masculine,Lone Wolf,Strong Moral Code,Aspiring,Villainous,Desperate,Honorable,Masculine

Development Pitch

GENUS is THE HANDMAID’S TALE meets BLADERUNNER meets GATTACA, with the zest of MOULIN ROUGE. Formerly in-production, below is part of the producer's statement. Rights to Genus are now re-avalailable. The adaptation of GENUS would be, above all, a thrilling, character-driven cautionary tale set in a very bleak and dangerous future. A visionary, gripping and exciting piece of cinema and feel the time is right for this high concept sci-fi thriller to be made. We were immediately drawn in to the novel through Trigell’s captivating vision of the storyworld. Details such as Gretchen’s pet spider and the age-varying identical Regan brothers leapt effortlessly off the page. The depiction of the deteriorated Kross and a very different blisteringly hot London within a post religious war UK society where science and commerce have run amuck struck up images we’ve never seen on-screen before. The stark and visually detailed contrast between the haves and have nots, in this case the improved and the unimproved, at once distant as they are eerily familiar. The second element that made us feel this story needs to be adapted for the screen is character. Holman and Gunt are enormously compelling, deeply flawed yet completely empathetic characters with whom we navigate through this harsh world. Their trajectories are clear and focused yet full of surprise. The entire cast of characters, their stories intricately, yet so seamlessly, woven together, are crying out to be dramatized.

About The Author

Jonathan Trigell's first novel - BOY A - was dramatized by Film 4 and Cuba Pictures. The film was directed by John Crowley and starred Andrew Garfield and Peter Mullan. Among other prizes, BOY A won four BAFTA Awards and the Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. Known for his gritty but literary writing, Jonathan has won the Waverton Award for best first novel; the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, for best book in the commonwealth by an author under thirty-five; the Italian Edoardo Kihlgren Prize and the inaugural World Book Day Prize. Jonathan is British by birth but now lives in the French Alps. He is the author of four thematically very different novels: Boy A, Cham, Genus and The Tongues of Men or Angels. GENUS was on the brink of being shot, before Brexit destroyed the production company’s funding model, full rights are now back with the author and available here on Taleflick. Further information on Jonathan is available at

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Corsair, an imprint of Little, Brown UK

Year Published: 2011

Hard Copy Available







A new world order arises in a future where wealthy humans can customize their offspring with physical beauty, heightened mental acuity and perfect health. Those who cannot afford such genetic wealth are scorned, relegated to third class status and mockingly called "the Unimproved". Genus examines this future through the eyes of several different and diverse characters as they battle chaos and tyranny.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

Characterization: EXCELLENT

Commerciality: EXCELLENT

Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT



Structure: EXCELLENT


Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, it does reflect the book.

Draw of Story

The premise of a dystopian future where the rich can choose something close to genetic perfection for their children intrigued me.

Possible Drawbacks

No. It moved at a good pace. Maybe it could've used a wee bit more dialogue.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

I found it entertaining to watch what happens when the poor become even more marginalized through genetic engineering. What would that future look like? Who would prevail - the genetically perfect or mother nature?

Fanbase Potential

There is an audience for dystopian sci-fi.

Awards Potential

It's not that kind of film but I could see a good editor or cinematographer win awards for this type of movie.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

It's pretty good the way it is. More dialogue with "future slang" could make it fresher.

Lead Characters

The characters each fit a particular and unique archetype, sort of like in a graphic novel.

Uniqueness of Story

This is actually a decent sci-fi story. The premise, while not entirely original, doesn't seem stale. Again, I would have liked more dialogue but that's about it.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



Sci-Fi, when done right, always generates a cultural "buzz" that helps in that films marketing efforts. Unlike horror, it's pretty easy to attract A-list actors and directors to good sci-fi. This story is a pretty decent take on relevant social issues through science fiction.