It's Monday once again, which means we start off the week with the latest crime drama news:
20th Century Fox is closing on a deal that will have Ben Affleck directing and starring in Witness For The Prosecution, an adaptation of the Agatha Christie short story and play that first hit the big screen in 1957 (starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton with multiple Oscar nominations). This follows on the heels of the recent BBC announcement that they are producing an adaptation of the same work for BBC One (see TV casting note below).
The Clue remake has landed at 20th Century Fox after previously being under the Universal umbrella, although no director has been announced to helm the project. Clue is based on the popular murder mystery board game with one previous less-than-successful adaptation in 1985, a Paramount production released with multiple endings that starred Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, and Martin Mull.
In more remake/adaptation news, COPS is next in line to get the big screen treatment. Ruben Fleischer is set to direct the project and turn the long-time unscripted TV series into "an edgy narrative feature with a buddy comedy bent on the order of a Lethal Weapon."
Billy Crudup is set to star as the male lead opposite Naomi Watts in Gypsy, Netflix’s psychological thriller series. Gypsy follows the journey of Jean Holloway (Watts), a therapist who begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patients’ lives. Crudup will play Jean’s husband Michael, who will "navigate their twisted and complicated marriage as well as his own morally gray relationships."
This year's Tony winner for Best Actor in a Musical (Hamilton), Leslie Odom Jr, is in talks to board Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. The film is based on one of Christie’s best known books, which was first published in 1934. and revolves around a murder of an American businessman on board the famous train with multiple suspects.
Serious fans of the Sherlock Holmes canon and its many works inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's creations may be less than enthused about an upcoming Sony project, but all that aside, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are teaming up to play comedic versions of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson for the studio's Holmes and Watson. Etan Cohen will direct from his own script about the duo "that faces off against enemies from across the globe."
A dispute over salary between Tom Cruise and Paramount has halted pre-production on Mission: Impossible 6, which had slated a January 2017 production start. This is the second production issue this summer for the project, after it threatened to fall apart over "script issues" back in July.
Just for fun, IFC.com posted "The 10 Best Offbeat Spy Movies" (with trailers).
HBO is developing a Perry Mason series from Robert Downey Jr. and True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto that will be short-run installments in the vein of True Detective (whose seasons have consisted of 8 episodes each). The drama, based on the legal crime books by Erle Stanley Gardner, is being eyed as an ongoing series, with new seasons’ timing contingent on Downey’s availability,
True Blood star Anna Paquin has lined up her next big TV project, an adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel Alias Grace. She'll play Nancy Montgomery, a Canadian woman living in the mid 1800s who is housekeeper for Thomas Kinnear, a man who was famously murdered along with Montgomery. The novel is known for the way it is constructed, with a shifting point of view that looks at the murders and subsequent investigation.
Emmy-winning actor Aaron Paul is stepping behind the camera at NBC for a one-hour drama script at the network that he will produce. Titled Blackmail, the project centers on a young married couple who suffer a life-changing accident and decide to get back at the man responsible by threatening to reveal his infidelity to his fiancee, but a hitch in their plan turns into a dark game of cat-and-mouse.
Amazon has greenlit Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, a 10-episode reboot of the iconic spy character starring Jon Krasinski (The Office). The series will follow the CIA analyst as he tries to unravel a global terrorism plot, with planned shooting locations including the U.S., Europe and Africa.
The ratings were so good that midway through its second-season run, USA Network’s drama series Mr. Robot has been renewed for a third season to air in 2017. The hacker drama was recently nominated for six Emmys, including best drama series and best actor for star Rami Malek.
The second season of ABC's American Crime featured a notable cast of Timothy Hutton, Regina King, and Felicity Huffman, but some feel it was 22-year-old Connor Jessup who stole the show with his portrayal of a victim of sexual abuse. The show's producers announced Connor will return for Season 3 as they put the young man's character through the wringer again, helping to shed "new light on the opiate addiction epidemic that is plaguing America.”
Bosch (the titular character from the adaptation of Michael Connelly's novels) will have a new enemy to face in season three: Arnold Vosloo, who will play Rafael "Rudy" Tafero, an ex-cop who has gone into private industry and now works as a security chief for director Andre Holland. With a penchant for needling Bosch (Titus Welliver), Rudy might be dirty enough to have planted evidence against Bosch in a case.
Bosch's producers also announced that Jeffrey Pierce (The Tomorrow People) has booked a recurring role in the series, playing Trevor Dobbs, who is a former lieutenant with a tight knit Special Forces group in Anwar Province.
Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall and Toby Jones (Dad's Army) have come aboard the BBC’s two-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution. Cattrall will play glamorous Emily French, the murder victim, while Jones is set to take on the role of the attorney who has to defend the victim's heir and chief suspect (Billy Howle). The project, which also stars Andrea Riseborough, Monica Dolan, and David Haig, recently began filming in Liverpool, with no broadcast date yet announced.
Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory has been set as the lead in ITV’s six-part legal thriller, Fearless. Written and exec produced by Homeland's Patrick Harbinson, it will center on Emma Blunt (McCrory), a solicitor known for defending lost causes who's investigating the killing of a schoolgirl in East Anglia and trying to free the man she thinks was wrongly convicted of the murder. As she digs deeper into the case, Emma begins to sense powerful forces, in the police and the intelligence services at home and abroad, who want to stop her uncovering the truth.
Robert Knepper has booked a recurring role on Season 6 of Showtime’s flagship drama series Homeland. The new season of the series, starring Claire Danes, is set following the U.S. presidential election with a newly elected female POTUS (Elizabeth Marvel).
For the first time, Amazon is making several original series pilot episodes available on Amazon Video’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, including Bosch, the Emmy-nominated series based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling novels, following LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.
Investigation Discovery gave the green light to Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris (working title), a six-part series that looks at the world behind and beyond the crime. The series starts production this summer, and will air exclusively on ID in 2017.
A trailer was released for Doubt, Katherine Heigl's return to the small screen playing a defense lawyer who she struggles with a case that gets a bit too personal when she falls for the client (Steven Pasquale) who is as dreamy as he is possibly murderous.
Obsessed with traditional crime writing as a child, author Leye Adenle explains on a BBC podcast why he chose to set his own crime fiction in Nigeria.
The Story Blender welcomed Kathleen Antrim, journalist and award-winning author of the bestselling political thriller, Capital Offense.
SoundCloud is currently featuring a drama performed by LA Theatre Works (which nabbed the 2015 Audie Award for Audio Drama with its production of The Hound of the Baskervilles): Reginald Rose's juror drama Twelve Angry Men (1954) featuring actors Hector Elizondo, Robert Foxworth, and Joe Spano. It was directed by John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), who can be heard on the program as the judge in the case. (HT to Elizabeth Foxwell.)
Casting was announced for The American Wife, a new thriller coming to London's Park Theatre September 7 to October 1. The show centers on San Diego housewife Karen Ruiz (Julia Eringer) who discovers that her soccer coach husband Eduardo (Vidal Sancho) has been arrested on terror charges. As she rushes to save him from the confines of his new Afghan prison, with the help of Press Association war correspondent, Mark Loomis (George Taylor), Karen has to navigate discrepant claims and accusations being made by governments, journalists and her own husband, making her wonder who she can believe when there is no unified official truth.