The Writers Guild of America handed out their annual awards this weekend, including Moonlight for Best Original Screenplay and the sci-fi mystery Arrival for Best Adapted Screenplay. The spy program The Americans also was honored as Best Drama Series, and The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story won for Best Adapted Long Form.
DreamWorks Pictures is adapting the upcoming murder mystery novel Into the Water from The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins. The story is set in a town where a single mother and a teenage girl were found dead in a river within a few months of each other, and follows a 15-year-old girl who has been left parentless while caring for her mother’s sister — a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from.
Jared Leto will make his feature film directorial debut with Paramount's crime thriller 77, which is based on an original screenplay by author James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential). Set in politically charged 1974 Los Angeles, the story centers around two police officers who team up to recover kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst while simultaneously investigating the brutal murder of a fellow officer. They uncover not only relentless corruption and crime, but a dark and violent conspiracy as well.
Universal Pictures has optioned City Of Saints & Thieves, the bestselling debut novel by Natalie C. Anderson, with Will Packer Productions and Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street production company in negotiations to produce. The protagonist is Tina, a girl who has been living on the streets of Kenya since her mother’s murder. Recruited by a gang of orphans and street kids, Tina gets closer to exacting revenge for her mother’s death, but soon discovers that she may not have all the facts. This is the second book that Scandal star Washington has come involved in following on The Perfect Mother, a thriller novel by Aimee Molloy that will be crafted as a star vehicle for Washington, who'll produce with Amy Pascal.
North American rights to Roman Polanski’s thriller Based on a True Story have been sold to Sony Pictures Classics. The French-language thriller stars Emmanuelle Seigner as a Parisian author with writer’s block who discovers a mysterious woman — played by Eva Green — at a book signing. Olivier Assayas and Polanski adapted the movie from Delphine de Vigan’s novel of the same name.
Screenwriter Andrea Berloff will direct and adapt the female-driven mob drama The Kitchen, marking the directorial debut for the Academy Award-nominated Straight Outta Compton screenwriter. The story is based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle and is described as "a classic gangster story told from a fresh POV. When a group of Irish mobsters are sent to prison, their wives take over their jailed spouses’ organized crime operations, subverting gender tropes to become the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in 1970’s Hell’s Kitchen."
Mystery Productions has teamed up with Truenorth for the new series, The Valhalla Murders, an international detective drama that follows a displaced detective who, against his will, is ordered to leave his life in Denmark to investigate a series of murders in Iceland. Dark parts of his past will be brought back to the fore as he is forced to battle his own demons as well as the island nation’s first serial killer. The two production companies have also recently acquired a number of dark detective stories from Iceland’s enormously popular author Stefan Mani, hoping to develop them into a series beginning with the novel Black Magic.
Finland-U.S.-based Snapper Films has unveiled a new TV series, Sherlock North. It's based on a Conan Doyle short story where Sherlock Holmes travels to Scandinavia after faking his own death and is on the run from nemesis Professor Moriarty. Under a false identity – an explorer named Sigerson – Holmes settles in dark and cold Lapland, in northern Finland, sparking a culture clash between the upper-class, fast-talking and eccentric Brit and the down-to-earth Nordic characters.
The CBS S.W.A.T reboot has just cast Bond girl Stephanie Sigman in a starring role in the pilot, which is based on the movie of the same name. The project follows a locally born and bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant who is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a highly-trained unit that’s the last stop for solving crimes in Los Angeles. Sigman will play Jessica, who’s described as ambitious and fastidious, and has earned her high rank at S.W.A.T. headquarters.
Versace: American Crime Story has signed the Bourne Ultimatum's Edgar Ramirez to play fashion designer Gianni Versace and Glee alum Darren Criss to play serial killer Andrew Cunanan in the third installment of Ryan Murphy's FX crime anthology series. The story will explore the July 1997 assassination of legendary designer Gianni Versace, whose killer, Andrew Cunanan, committed suicide eight days later as Miami Dade police were on the verge of capturing the serial killer behind five slayings.
Britne Oldford (Syfy’s Hunters), Ben Rappaport (The Good Wife), and veteran Anna Deavere Smith (Nurse Jackie) are set to star in an ABC legal drama pilot from Shondaland and ABC Studios. The project is set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka "The Mother Court," and follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high-profile and high-stakes cases in the country
BBC America has hired Kevin Smith to write, direct and executive produce a series based on the Sam And Twitch comic book series about big-city homicide detectives who face a series of super grizzly crimes that are connected to the occult.
Amazon has renewed Goliath, its legal drama starring Billy Bob Thornton, for a second season. Clyde Phillips, who oversaw Dexter as showrunner through its first four seasons, will take over as boss. Playing disgraced alcoholic lawyer Billy McBride, Thornton won the best actor in a TV drama Golden Globe this year for the role.
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games) is to star as English headmistress Hester Appleyard in Foxtel’s six-part drama Picnic at Hanging Rock. The project is a "re-imagining" of Joan Lindsay’s novel, which was inspired by the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher on Valentine’s Day in 1900 in Australia. The teachers of Appleyard College for Young Ladies will be played by French actress Lola Bessis, Yael Stone, Anna McGahan, and Sibylla Budd.
Jessica Biel is making her return to television a memorable one, starring in and executive producing the new USA anthology crime thriller The Sinner, which just released its first trailer. Based on a novel by Petra Hammesfahr, the show stars Biel as a young mother named Cora who commits a horrific crime in full view of her family and public bystanders. It's a seemingly inexplicable act for she claims she has no motive, which puzzles the lead investigator (Bill Pullman).
Wondering which of your favorite shows are going to be renewed and which aren't? TV Guide published a list of a 2016-2017 TV Scorecard.
NPR's Scott Simon interviewed Tom Rosenstiel (who is also the executive director of the American Press Institute) about his debut novel Shining City, which focuses on Washington D.C. politics, power brokers, spin doctors, compromise, and the press.
The mystery of Ireland and writing were some of the topics discussed with Lisa Alber, author of the County Clare mystery series, on the Authors on the Air podcast.
Swedish novelist Christoffer Carlsson, who's written five novels, won Sweden's top award for crime fiction, and has a PhD in criminology (all under the age of 30), spoke to Kate Evans on Radio National about his writing career and his novel Master, Liar, Traitor, Friend, the third in a series about a cop named Leo Junker.
Picking apart three of her favorite pieces of crime fiction, Nicola Davis sat down in the studio for the Guardian Books podcast with Dr. Kathryn Harkup, a chemist, science communicator, and author of A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie.
Seattle's KUOW radio featured arts and culture reporter Marcie Sillman and librarian Nancy Pearl talking about thrillers, with a few recommendations.
A new production adapted (by Simon Brett and Antony Lampard) from one of Ruth Rendell's most celebrated novels is on tour in the UK, visiting 26 venues through December of this year. The story follows Eunice, a woman struggling to fit in, and when she joins a wealthy family as their housekeeper, the very reason for her awkwardness, long hidden and deeply buried, leads inexorably to a terrible tale of murder in cold blood – on Valentine’s Day.
Houston's Theatre Suburbia will present Sherlock Holmes: John Watson's Body from February 24 to March 25, 2017. The play was penned by C.P. Stancich and starts with Dr. Watson investigating the disappearance of a family's priceless emeralds, but when he finds and then loses a body, it draws Holmes and friend Oscar Dove into a web of murder, larceny and intrigue.
I caught this piece almost too late, but from Feb. 8 to 26, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company (RMTC) is honoring Agatha Christie at the 17th annual Master Playwright Festival, an event that takes on a selected number of works from a celebrated artist. The festival provides opportunities for artists from a variety of organizations to produce work under the umbrella of a larger festival, and also provides patrons with an opportunity to thoroughly immerse themselves in the works of a renowned playwright. Agatha Christie is only the second woman to be honored by the RMTC Festival and the first mystery writer.
Ink Spotters 1: The Art of Detection is a new app written by NY Times best-selling author Sean Stewart that creates a new Sherlock Holmes adventure. Players can follow Sherlock from Victorian London's high society to its rank underbelly as they breeze through the game's comic-like pages. By typing in key words, players unlock more pages that lead to the rest of the story. The more clues you find, the more pages you unlock.