The A&E network recently announced that it had acquired the rights to the Swedish horror novel Let the Right One In, and is currently developing a TV series adaptation based on the bestselling novel. This TV adaptation is actually not the first time that the story has been adapted into a visual medium: it has, so far, been adapted three times, not counting the upcoming TV series. The book was first adapted into a Swedish film, also called Let the Right One In; it was later adapted again, this time by an American filmmaker, who titled it Let Me In; and it was, most recently, adapted into a critically acclaimed play.
Fans of the original book are already speculating on what the new TV adaptation might bring to the table—and what it might leave behind. Let’s take a closer look at what we can likely expect from A&E’s upcoming TV adaptation of Let the Right One In. Spoilers for the original book and films ahead!
Eli might get a new name—and a new gender
This may depend on whether or not A&E decides to localize the story. If it still takes place in Sweden, Eli very well may retain their original name—but if the network decides it would like to translate the story to America, like Let Me In did, than Eli may be given a name that is more familiar to American audiences.
Another aspect of Eli that may get changed for television is his gender. In the original books, Eli is actually a boy who has been living as a girl in order to get protection from adult men; he reveals this to Oskar after Oskar accidentally glimpses Eli naked. This aspect of his character was kept intact for the Swedish film, but altered for the American movie adaptation. It is unknown whether A&E will decide to keep this revelation or go the route of Let Me in.
The violence will probably be muted
A&E doesn’t shy away from horror, but the violence in the original novel could get quite graphic and, in the words of many critics, disturbing. If the show is adapted for the A&E network, they will need to tone much of it down in order to abide by Television content guidelines. Most of the particularly disturbing violent content is related to Eli’s past, as well as Eli’s later decision to live as a girl; some insiders have suggested that A&E may very well change the details of Eli’s past in order to keep this violence to a minimum.
The story may be continued or expanded
A&E plans to develop the book into a TV series, but the book does not have a particularly extensive plot line. In order to suit the TV medium, the story may either be continued—meaning it will move past where the book, both films, and play end—or it could be expanded in order to give characters more fleshed out personalities and subplots.