Ian Rankin’s ‘Rebus’ Returns To TV As Viaplay’s Debut UK Original

Sir Ian Rankin’s Rebus detective novels are to be reimagined for Nordic streamer Viaplay, the group’s debut UK drama commission and the first Rebus TV adaptation for nearly 15 years.

The six-parter sets down a marker for Viaplay’s ambitions in the UK, having launched in the nation earlier this week.

Rankin’s Rebus, which aired for four seasons on ITV in the early noughties helmed by John Hannah and then Ken Stott, will be in his 30s, recently divorced and demoted to Detective Sergeant.  He has a new colleague, Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke, and is struggling to deal with the changes in his personal and professional life. At the same time, Rebus’s daughter, Sammy, and ex-wife, Rhona, are enjoying an affluent existence with Rhona’s new partner.

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Eleventh Hour Films is producing and 71 scribe Gregory Burke is writing. Cast will be unveiled shortly and filming will start next year, with Viaplay planning for a returning series. Rankin, Burke, Jill Green, Paula Cuddy, Eve Gutierrez, Isabelle Hultén and Tomas Axelsson are also executive producers.

“Sir Ian Rankin is a global storytelling phenomenon, and partnering to reimagine Rebus for a new generation of viewers is a remarkable way for Viaplay to take the UK stage,” said Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group Chief Content Officer.

“His ambitious series will explore family, morality and class in British society through an exciting and emotionally charged story, set against the Edinburgh landmarks that Rankin’s readers know so well.”

Celebrated Scottish writer Rankin said he is “chuffed” and described Burke as “understanding the world of Rebus and the compelling central character.”

Having launched in the likes of the U.S., The Netherlands and Germany already, the UK this week became Viaplay’s latest launch pad and the exec team has big plans. The outfit is making 60 international originals this year, roughly one per week, while snapping up sports rights across the continent.

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