Welcome to another new week and another wrap-up of the latest crime drama news:
The production company The Firm picked up rights to the untitled Big Pharma/Whistleblower corporate thriller from screenwriters Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi. The ensemble piece tells intersecting stories surrounding a new controversial behavioral drug being peddled to inner city families while a scrappy, driven district attorney clashes with a young, ambitious pharmaceutical rep forced to participate in a wide-ranging conspiracy. The Firm has several other projects in development, including the Angela Davis biopic about the first woman placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list as well as a film based on the famous 1981 Signal Hill police brutality case.
TriStar has preemptively acquired rights to The Perfect Mother, a thriller novel by Aimee Molloy that just sold in a seven-figure HarperCollins publishing deal. Kerry Washington is attached to star in the film, which revolves around a Brooklyn group called May Mothers, a group of moms who meet up to socialize and relish a couple hours away from their babies. But when one mother learns her 6-week-old son has been abducted from his crib, three new moms go to increasingly desperate lengths to find him alive in a hunt that ends up revealing damaging secrets and testing marriages and friendships.
WWE Studios acquired exclusive English-language remake rights to the Norwegian thriller franchise Cold Prey, which follows a group of friends who decide to ski out of bounds and are forced to take shelter when a storm hits, finding themselves imprisoned in an abandoned ski lodge along with a maniacal killer. Cold Prey was hailed as one of the best modern Norwegian horror movies and the most successful franchise of its kind.
Film Movement picked up North American rights to Frédéric Mermoud’s French psychological thriller Moka starring Emmanuelle Devos. Moka is based on a 2006 novel by Tatiana de Rosnay and centers on a grieving woman who pursues a couple whom she suspects killed her son in a hit-and-run accident.
Jake Gyllenhaal is joining Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly in the cast of The Sisters Brothers, based on Patrick deWitt’s novel of the same name. The story is set in 1951 Oregon and follows two brothers and notorious assassins, Eli and Charlie Sisters, who are hired to kill a gold prospector named Hermann Kermit Warm, who has stolen from their boss.
Joel Edgerton has signed on to star opposite Jon Bernthal (Daredevil) in the dark crime thriller Stingray. Edgerton will play a powerful small town racketeer whose brother is accidentally killed by a petty criminal played by Bernthal. As a result, Bernthal’s character must kill one of his own family members in the next two days to pay off his debt.
Jeremy Saulnier has set the cast for his next film, the thriller Hold the Dark, which is based on the book by William Giraldi and is being produced for Netflix. Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Jeffrey Wright, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, and James Bloor, the story set in the Alaskan wilderness, where wolves are killing children. A biologist arrives on the scene to investigate and tangles with a dead boy’s dysfunctional parents. Wright will play the biologist, Badge Dale plays a detective. Skarsgard plays the father and Keough will play the mother, while Bloor’s character is described as a creepy drifter.
Oscar Issac has signed on to star in the spy thriller The Garbo Project. Set during World War II, the project is based on the true story of Juan Pujol Garcia, an eccentric double-agent who, with no military or covert training, somehow persuaded both the Germans and the British to hire him as a spy. As it turned out, his real allegiance was to England, and working closely with MI5, he created a fictional network of 27 spies said to be spread out over England, Scotland, and Ireland. His ruse enabled the English to deceive the Germans about the invasion of Normandy.
Oscar-winning screenwriters Joel and Ethan Coen have come on board to polish the script for Universal’s Scarface remake, which stars Diego Luna (Rogue One) in the title role. All that's left is to hire on a director (after Antoine Fuqua had to drop out), with Hell Or High Water's David Mackenzie and Patriots Day's Peter Berg said to be in the running. Universal plans to release the film in August 2018.
Production has wrapped on Nicolas Pesce’s psychological thriller Piercing, which is based on Ryu Murakami’s 1994 novel of the same name. The film stars Christopher Abbott as a man who kisses his wife and baby goodbye, seemingly headed away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service and kill an unsuspecting prostitute - until his plans are thwarted by an alluring and mysterious call girl (Mia Wasikowska), who arrives at his room, leading to a pulsating game of cat-and-mouse.
Sarah Paulson has landed the starring role in Amazon Studios' serial-killer drama Lost Girls. Documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus is making her narrative-film debut with the film, which is based on investigative reporter Robert Kolker's 2013 nonfiction book of the same name. Michael Werwie wrote the adaptation, which centers on a mother searching for her missing daughter in Long Island who makes a horrifying discovery in the woods, where the murdered bodies of four girls have been dumped.
The first trailer was released for Oren Moverman’s psychological thriller The Dinner (based on the international best-selling novel by Herman Koch) starring Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, and Laura Linney in the tale of two couples and the dark secrets that bind them together over one intense dinner.
The first trailer was dropped for Unlocked, the fast-paced thriller about a CIA operative played by Noomi Rapace (from the original Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), who, after the interrogation of a captured terrorist underling, comes upon crucial information about a biological attack on London that suddenly makes her a target from ersatz agents working for the terrorists. Forced to go on the run, the only person she can trust is a brash MI5 agent played by Orlando Bloom.
Amazon is teaming up with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn on the new crime thriller Too Old To Die Young, which was greenlit with a straight-to-series order with 10 episodes. The show explores the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles and is described as being in a similar vein to Refn’s Pusher trilogy, which looked at Danish criminals caught up in the drug trade.
NBC is giving a pilot order to a drama inspired by the the literary works of best-selling author Charlaine Harris, Redliners, based on short stories by Harris, whose books also inspired HBO’s hit vampire drama True Blood. In the tone of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Redliners mixes humor, romance and espionage. It follows a pair of former operatives who get reactivated and drawn into a larger conspiracy while attempting to maintain their undercover lives.
Fans of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder can breathe easier after ABC announced they were renewing the series for their fourteenth, seventh, and fourth seasons, respectively.
BBC Four acquired the new Canadian procedural drama Cardinal, adapted from the novel Forty Words for Sorrow, the first of six mystery novels featuring the character John Cardinal, written by Giles Blunt. The story sees Cardinal, who has been demoted for following a hunch on a case of a missing teenager that he wouldn’t let go, brought back to the homicide unit when the teen’s body is found, proving his instincts correct. His hunt for the murderer becomes an all-consuming race to stay one step ahead of a serial killer.
Annette Bening set to make a rare TV appearance after she was added to the cast of Katrina: American Crime Story, the second season of the FX series, which will focus on the events that led up to and followed Hurricane Katrina. Bening will be playing former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco who served as Governor during and following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and was responsible for the mass evacuation of the New Orleans area and the rescue of residents left behind in the aftermath of the storm.
ABC’s magician FBI drama pilot Deception has found its lead in Jack Cutmore-Scott, who takes on the role of superstar magician Cameron Black. When his career is ruined by scandal, Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, illusion, and influence — the FBI.
Jennifer Finnigan is set as the female lead in Salvation, CBS' straight-to-series summer suspense thriller drama based on the story by Matt Wheeler about MIT grad student Liam and tech superstar Darius, who bring low-level Pentagon official Grace (Finnigan) a staggering discovery – that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth. Brought into the government’s secret task force to save humanity, Grace struggles to keep the secret from the ones she loves and finds herself tested in ways she never imagined.
Heroes alum Jack Coleman is set to co-star opposite Reba McEntire in ABC’s Marc Cherry drama pilot, from ABC Studios. The untitled project stars McEntire as Ruby Adair, the sheriff of colorful small town Oxblood, KY, who finds her red state outlook challenged when a young FBI agent of Middle Eastern descent is sent to help her solve a horrific crime. Coleman will play Deke Adair, Ruby’s ruggedly handsome ex-husband who is now married to Ruby’s former best friend, Randa (Amanda Detmer).
Bradley Whitford, still widely known as The West Wing's Josh Lyman, has signed on to guest star in the crossover episode arc between Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Justice, taking on the role of Albert Forest, a very powerful defense lawyer who basically wrote the book on the best way to cross examine witnesses on the stand.
NYPD Blue alum Esai Morales is also heading to the Windy City. Morales, who played Lt. Tony Rodriguez on NYPD Blue, is joining Chicago P.D. in a recurring role to be introduced in the upcoming three-show crossover that will launch Chicago Justice.
BBC America has set Saturday, June 10, as the premiere of the fifth and final season of its critically praised series Orphan Black. Star Tatiana Maslany returns to her Emmy-winning role as multiple clones in the Peabody Award-winning series, which will likely pick up where Season 4 left off, with Daya Diaz (Dascha Polanco) pointing a loaded gun at two of the prison guards during a riot following the death of Poussey (Samira Wiley).
The 2016 production of Four Seasons in Havana has made its way to Netflix. It's based on novelist Leonardo Padura's fictional detective Mario Conde who's been described as "Cuba's Philip Marlowe." WLRN had a preview of the TV program, and the Mystery People's Molly Odintz profiled the novel series. Meanwhile, an American, English-language version, titled Havana Quartet, is in production for the U.S. cable network Starz, with Antonio Banderas playing Conde.
A trailer was released for ITV's Broadchurch, which will return in 2017 for its 3rd and final season, bringing back almost all of its familiar faces in the process. The story will follow detectives Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Alec Hardy (David Tennant) as they investigate a serious sexual assault in the area.
BBC One dropped a trailer for the upcoming SS-GB, the alternative history thriller series based on the novel by Len Deighton, in which the Nazis were successful in occupying London during WWII.
MPR chatted with Ellen Hart, recently named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America, one of the highest distinctions in the genre, for her thirty years of crime fiction work. Hart talked about her career and how writing about a gay detective made her feel like she "was writing science fiction."
Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste, hosts of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast, discussed the success of Waterstones, books vs. ebooks, writing vs. editing, and optical illusions, and also chatted with award-winning author Stav Sherez.
2nd Sunday Crime welcomed author David Taylor, whose Night Life was nominated for an Edgar for Best First Novel.
The latest Suspense Radio podcast included guest authors Alexandrea Weis, Elizabeth Heiter, Kimberly Howe and Lisa Gardner.