AMC has inked a co-production deal with BBC Worldwide North America for the eight-part drama McMafia, which will star James Norton and be set in the international world of organized crime.
Also Tuesday, BBC America greenlit the original series Killing Eve, a dark thriller from Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
In McMafia, Norton will play the lead character, Alex Godman, who is drawn deeper and deeper into the criminal world. The drama is co-produced by AMC, BBC and Cuba Pictures (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, London Road), in association with Twickenham Studios.
Additional casting for McMafia includes David Strathairn as an Israeli businessman, Juliet Rylance as Godman's girlfriend, Aleksey Serebryakov and Faye Marsay. The series is created and written by Hossein Amini (Drive, Snow White and the Huntsman) and James Watkins, who will direct all eight episodes.
The drama follows Godman, the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia history, who has spent his life attempting to avoid his criminal past as he runs a legitimate business, only to find his family's past returning to threaten his life and those he loves. Godman is soon embroiled in a world of international criminals, money launderers, corrupt politicians and ruthless intelligence agencies.
"McMafia is simply one of those shows that comes along at exactly the right moment," Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV, said in a statement. The show's writing team, led by Amini and Watkins, also includes David Farr (The Night Manager), Peter Harness (Doctor Who, Wallander, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Laurence Coriat (Wonderland, Me Without You).
McMafia is inspired by Misha Glenny's 2008 best-selling book of the same name; production is set to take place in London. "Misha Glenny's book reminds us that underneath the headlines of today what we used to think of as organized crime is something completely different. It's a global operation, with tentacles in every corner of our world," Stillerman added.
Elsewhere, BBC America gave the go-ahead for Killing Eve, a drama about a psychopathic assassin and the woman charged with hunting her down. Waller-Bridge is the showrunner and an executive producer on the eight-parter produced by Sid Gentle Films and based on the novellas by Luke Jennings.
"Killing Eve is a brilliantly fresh take on the cat and mouse thriller from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, a major new talent in television," Sarah Barnett, BBC America president, said in a statement. Killing Eve will debut in 2018.