The BBC has acquired crime drama Rebus, a new adaptation of the best-selling Inspector Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, starring Richard Rankin (Outlander, The Replacement) in the title role.

Adapted for the screen by Gregory Burke (´71, Six Four) and produced by Eleventh Hour Films for Viaplay, the series will air on BBC Scotland, BBC One and BBC iPlayer this spring.

Set in Edinburgh, the six-part series reimagines John Rebus as a younger Detective Sergeant drawn into a violent criminal conflict that turns personal when his brother Michael, a former soldier, crosses the line into criminality. Rebus finds himself torn between protecting his brother and enforcing the law to bring Michael to justice. This epic series explores family, morality and class through an emotionally-charged story, set against the Scottish landmarks that Rankin’s readers know so well. Filming took place in Glasgow and Edinburgh last year.

Alongside Richard Rankin as DS John Rebus, the series also stars Lucie Shorthouse (Line of Duty, Ten Percent), Brian Ferguson (The Ipcress File, Spanish Princess), Amy Manson (The Nevers, The Diplomat), Neshla Caplan (The Rig, Scot Squad), Noof Ousellam (Vigil, Guilt), Stuart Bowman (The Serpent, Bodyguard), Caroline Lee Johnson (Trying, Ridley), Sean Buchanan (Censor, Mary Queen of Scots), Thoren Ferguson (The Midwich Cuckoos) and Michelle Duncan (Baptise, Elizabeth is Missing).

Ian Rankin, creator of the Rebus novels, says: “I’m thrilled that Rebus is coming to the BBC. A great cast and a compelling story – I really can’t wait for viewers to see it.”

Gregory Burke, writer of the series, says: It has been a huge privilege to work on a new show with Ian Rankin’s iconic character at its centre, and I couldn’t be more delighted that it is to be broadcast on the BBC.”

Jill Green, CEO of Eleventh Hour Films: “We are so excited to be bringing a fresh, modern reimagining of Rebus to a wide audience on the BBC. This is an emotionally charged series from Gregory Burke and one that behaves differently in the crime genre space.”

Sue Deeks, Head of Programme Acquisition at the BBC says: “We’re so pleased that this exciting new incarnation of Ian Rankin’s iconic character will be airing on the BBC. Viewers can expect compelling storylines, complex characters and an enjoyable mix of action, wit and humour.”

Sandra McFadden, Head of Business, BBC Scotland Commissioning added:  “Rebus of course needs no introduction, being one of Scotland’s most prolific literary characters, but we’re thrilled to be bringing this new television adaptation, starring Richard Rankin, to our audiences in Scotland and across the UK.”

Rebus (6×45’) is written by Gregory Burke and is adapted from the best-selling novels by Ian Rankin. The six-part series is directed by Niall MacCormick (Complicit, The Victim, Wallander) and Fiona Walton (Shetland, Annika) and is produced by Angela Murray. Paula Cuddy, Jill Green, Eve Gutierrez, Tomas Axelsson, Isabelle Hultén, Niall MacCormick, Gregory Burkeand Ian Rankin are the Executive Producers. Rebus is distributed internationally by Viaplay Content Distribution.

Jon Creamer

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