Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Rebus Revival

Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin already had cause to celebrate this year. Not only does 2017 mark the 30th anniversary of his introducing fictional Edinburgh Detective Inspector John Rebus, in Knots and Crosses (1987), but this summer will bring the inaugural “RebusFest” (June 30-July 2) to venues all over Scotland’s historic capital.

Now comes yet another reason for the author to crack one of his broad smiles. As reported recently by Deadline Hollywood, Rankin’s irritable, rules-breaking protagonist is heading back to our TV screens:
UK-based indie Eleventh Hour Films has acquired rights to Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series of detective novels, and attached '71 writer Gregory Burke to pen a contemporary TV drama adaptation. …

BAFTA-nominated Burke’s credits also include next year’s José Padilha hijacking thriller
Entebbe. Of Rebus, he says, “As someone who has grown up and lives in South East Scotland, Ian Rankin’s best-selling books provide the perfect material to make a thrilling series about crime in the modern world.”

Executive Producer Jill Green promises “a fresh and revisionist take in every way introducing both Rebus and Edinburgh to a new generation.”
Most imagined sleuths never get one crack at boob-tube stardom. But Rebus has already enjoyed a healthy run on British television, in ITV’s Rebus (2000-2007), played by two different actors: John Hannah, who never seemed right for the role (even he acknowledged that) and left after one season; and Ken Stott, who carried on through three successive seasons, establishing himself quite successfully in the part.

There’s no word yet on who will portray DI Rebus this time around. Author Rankin is apparently hoping Stott will return to the role. But that might not satisfy Jill Green’s promise of “a fresh … take” on Rebus, so we’ll have to wait and see how this all shakes out.

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