Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has been chosen to helm the upcoming film adaptation of The Equalizer. The project is based on a television series from the mid-to-late 1980s starring Edward Woodward as a retired intelligence agent turned private detective who helped clients "equalize" threatening situations. Denzel Washington is in talks to play the lead.
Warner Bros has acquired Boston Strangler, a thriller project Casey Affleck and fellow Boston native screenwriter Chuck Maclean, about the desperate search for the murderer who terrorized the Boston area during the early 1960s. Affleck has plants to star as one of the detectives who were part of the Strangler Squad responsible for solving the crime, and will also serve as executive producer.
Actors Sullivan Stapleton and Ryan Kwanten will play ex-cons who set fire to a nightclub that kills 15 people in Cut Snake, an Australian thriller to be produced by Matchbox Pictures. The film was inspired by inspired by a real-life incident in 1973.
Katheryn Bigelow's hunt-for-Bin-Laden pic Zero Dark Thirty has yet to premiere in most U.S. markets, but it's already racking up the awards, including the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle.
Oscar Isaac and Jason Clarke have signed on to star in William Monahan's thriller Mojave. Plot details are being kept under wraps, although the story is said to involve a desert escape by a criminal.
George Clooney's Monuments Men is being scheduled for a Christmas 2013 release date. The project, which has already signed Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin (and possibly Matt Damon), is a World War II-era thriller about art historians called into Germany to retrieve valuable works stolen by the Nazis.
Silver Pictures has picked up the remake rights to the French crime-thriller Le Convoyeur that starred Jean Dujardin as a father who takes a job with an armored car company after an inside-job robbery kills the man's son.
Karin Slaughter's three "Will Trent" novels featuring the agent with the George Bureau of Investigation are being adapted for made-for-television movies by Yellow Bird, the same production company behind the Swedish film versions of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)
NBC is planning a reboot of the classic crime drama Ironside, which aired 1967-75 and starred Raymond Burr as a San Francisco cop confined to a wheelchair after suffering a paralyzing gunshot wound. Person of Interest's Dave Semel will direct the pilot, and Michael Caleo (The Sopranos) will script the project.
Yet another remake, this one of the classic British spy series The Saint (played by Roger Moore in the original TV version and Val Kilmer in a later movie version) is still moving forward, and the project just signed actor Adam Rayner to star as Simon Templar.
ABC has bought a pilot for a half-hour police comedy called Rookie, which follows a woman in her twenties who decides to switch up careers and join the police force and begin to think of her oddball co-workers as family.
Meanwhile, Fox bought a 13-episode animated crime comedy titled Murder Police, from Family Guy's David Goodman and newcomer Jason Ruiz. The project centers on a dedicated but bumbling detective and his partner as they attempt to get to the bottom of crime.
TNT is developing the buddy cop drama Hit, based on an idea by Jamie Foxx. The project centers on two former high school football teammates and best friends who are "drafted" years later by the Miami P.D. and assigned to the HIT (High Impact Team) unit.
Although two series have aired in the U.K. and a third has been ordered of DCI Banks, the series featuring Peter Robinson's Inspector Alan Banks, will air for the first time in the U.S. on public television in January.
Sean Bean has signed on to star in a TNT spy drama from Homeland creator Howard Gordon. Bean will play Martin Odum, an undercover agent with the uncanny ability to assume different personas.
FX announced the official premiere date for The Americans, a cold-war drama that follows two KGB spies posing as Americans during the Reagan administration, as January 30 at 10 p.m.
The CW has set the premiere date of February 19 for its midseason replacement drama Cult. The suspense drama centers on investigative journalist Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis), who teams with the young research assistant (Jessica Lucas) on a popular TV show when his younger brother goes missing and someone starts re-creating the show's gruesome plot twists in reality.
CBS also has a midseason replacement crime drama, the cop series Golden Boy, which will eventually fill the spot vacated by the cancelled freshman drama Made in Jersey on Friday nights. The series stars Theor James as Walter William Clark, Jr., an ambitious cop who becomes the youngest police commissioner in New York City history, and Chi McBride as a veteran detective and James' character's mentor and partner.
Thanks to Omnimystery News for the poster and trailer for the upcoming Cinemax crime series Banshee. The show stars Antony Starr as an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, where he continues his criminal activities while being hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier.
Michael Connelly chatted about his book The Black Box on MSNBC's Morning Joe show and also on the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS.
University of Toronto professor Wesley Wark and International Spy Museum historian Mark Stout discuss the history of spy fiction in a SpyCast podcast (with a hat tip to Elizbeth Foxwell over at The Bunburyist).