THE INK FACTORY Set to Adapt David Nott’s Inspiring and Moving Biopic WAR DOCTOR Based on his Powerful Memoir
Inspiring and Moving Biopic Based on Humanitarian Trauma Surgeon
Award-winning London- and LA-based independent studio The Ink Factory (The Little Drummer Girl, Fighting with My Family, The Night Manager) is developing David Nott’s acclaimed and bestselling memoir War Doctor, which details his experiences as a medical volunteer in the world’s most dangerous war zones and devastating humanitarian crises.
From Sarajevo under siege in 1993, to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, NHS medic Nott carries out life-saving field surgery in the most challenging conditions - experiences which have helped countless people and made him the world’s leading trauma surgeon but which have also had far reaching consequences for his own life. His memoir was released on February 21st by Picador in the UK. The Ink Factory will finance and produce the feature, with David’s wife Eleanor Nott serving as Executive Producer alongside producer Tom Nash at The Ink Factory.
David Nott was named winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 and has received honorary degrees from both the University of Salford and the University of St Andrews. The Guardian review of Nott’s memoir described the surgeon’s the collection of stories from the frontlines as “compelling” and “breath taking”, while The Times hailed his memoir as “superb, unforgettable, simply written and painfully clear”.
War Doctor follows his incredible career and life experiences in the epicentre of conflict-driven chaos, confronting both the ravages of violence and the resilience of the human spirit. War Doctor debuted at No. 1 in The Sunday Times bestseller list and spent 6 weeks in the Top 10.
The deal for the film rights was brokered by Nicky Lund at David Higham with Yogita Puri at The Ink Factory.
David Nott said “I know that with The Ink Factory my book is in capable hands and am looking forward to their adaptation. I have been struck by Ink’s engagement with War Doctor and their enthusiasm for making a thoughtful and also thrilling film, with humanity at its core.”
Tom Nash at The Ink Factory added “When I first read David’s extraordinary memoir I was struck by his incredible compassion, even in the most dangerous of environments. David is a truly modern hero: undoubtedly courageous, but not afraid to acknowledge his vulnerability and humanity. I look forward to working closely with David and Elly Nott to bring this important and inspirational story to the screen.”
Simon and Stephen Cornwell added “It has been a very special pleasure getting to know David and Eleanor Nott. The work that they do, empowering medical professionals to support their communities in unimaginably challenging circumstances, is a tremendous act of peace in a world ravaged by brutal conflicts. Telling David’s incredible story is both a rare privilege and significant responsibility, however we know that this project has a solid creative guardian and indefatigable champion in Tom.”
For more than 25 years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer as a field doctor for organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross. The conflicts he has worked in form a chronology of 21st century combat: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, Congo, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Gaza and Syria; but he has also volunteered in areas blighted by natural disasters, such as earthquake-struck Haiti and Nepal. Nott memorably appeared in 2016 on Desert Island Discs to describe his experience of being consoled by the Queen and her corgis during a visit to Buckingham Palace, when he was struggling with PTSD as a result of his work.
Driven both by compassion and passion, the desire to help others and the thrill of extreme personal danger, he is now widely acknowledged to be the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world. But as time went on, Nott began to realize that flying into a catastrophe was not enough - local doctors on the ground needed to learn how to treat the appalling injuries that war inflicts upon its victims. Since 2015 the foundation he set up with his wife Eleanor has disseminated the knowledge he has gained, training other doctors in the art of saving lives threatened by bombs and bullets.
About The Ink Factory
The Ink Factory was founded in 2010 by Stephen and Simon Cornwell as an independent studio with global reach. The company works to tell compelling stories across television, film, games and immersive experiences while developing ideas from inception to release through long-term relationships with authors and creators. The Ink Factory takes bold creative and financial decisions and seeks out opportunities for ambitious and genre-defining work.
A core pillar of the company is the adaptation of the work of author John le Carré for film, television and other media.
Most recently, Film4 and WWE’s Fighting with My Family was produced in association with The Ink Factory. Written and directed by Stephen Merchant and starring Dwayne Johnson, Florence Pugh and Vince Vaughn, the film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and debuted at #1 at the UK box office in March 2019.
The Ink Factory’s latest television adaptation of le Carré’s “The Little Drummer Girl” directed by Park Chan-wook aired on the BBC and AMC this past fall. The company is also behind the Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning drama series “The Night Manager,” based on a le Carré novel of the same name and co-produced with the BBC and AMC. The company is currently developing a series based on The Spy Who Came in From the Cold produced in association with Paramount TV and, once again, with the BBC and AMC.
The company’s first film, A Most Wanted Man, based on the novel by John le Carré, was released in 2014. Other past projects include Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee and based on the award-winning novel by Ben Fountain; Netflix Original Message from the King, a noir thriller by Stephen Cornwell and Oliver Butcher and directed by Fabrice du Welz which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival; and Drew Pearce’s directorial debut Hotel Artemis, starring Jodie Foster and Sterling K. Brown.
The Ink Factory also partnered with one of the game industry's top talents, Matt Nava, to found digital studio Giant Squid. Giant Squid’s first game, the twice-BAFTA-nominated ABZÛ, was released in August 2016. Giant Squid’s latest game The Pathless will be released in 2019 and has been hand-picked for Apple’s highly-anticipated game subscription service, Apple Arcade.
The company is headquartered in London and Los Angeles.
About Eleanor Nott
During her tenure as Chief Executive of the David Nott Foundation, Eleanor led the expansion of the Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) programme and established a sound financial footing for the charity, including securing the first major grant, from the Open Society Foundations. With David, she was recognised on Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers list of 2016 for training doctors working in war zones. She has written for a variety of publications about geo-economic and political affairs in the Middle East and authored the Afterword of War Doctor.
Between 2010 and 2014 Elly worked for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) as a Research Associate in London and Bahrain. She holds a BA in Modern History from St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and a Masters in International Relations from Exeter University.