James Franco is developing three movies based on novels by crime fiction writer Tom Franklin, with screenwriters already attached for each project and plans to shoot all three in the next one to three years: Poachers is a collection of short stories, with the title story (which won the Edgar Award) focusing on three wild boys confronting a mythic game warden as mysterious and deadly as the river they haunt; Smonk is set in 1911 Alabama, where every Saturday night for a year, E.O. Smonk has been destroying property, killing livestock, seducing women, and beating men; and Hell at the Breech takes place in 1897 and focuses on a group of poor cotton farmers who form a secret society to punish townspeople believed responsible for murdering an aspiring politician.
Vincent D'Onofrio (Law and Order) and Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) have joined Bruce Willis in Paramount and MGM's revamp of the 1974 Charles Bronson film Death Wish, which was in turn based on the book by Brian Garfield. Eli Roth has been tapped to direct the picture that follows a man whose life is destroyed by a violent crime against his wife and daughter and starts hunting for the perpetrators himself.
Dean Devlin's thriller Bad Samaritan has announced filming will start later this year in Portland, Oregon. Starring David Tennant (best known for his work on Doctor Who), the drama centers on two young car valets who use their business as a front to burglarize the houses of their unsuspecting patrons. Life is good for the petty thieves until they target the wrong house, changing their lives.
The North American rights to the action thriller Dog Eat Dog starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe have been acquired by RLJ Entertainment. Based on the novel by Edward Bunker, Dog Eat Dog tells the story of three ex-cons who mess up a kidnapping and lose a big payoff, then find themselves on the wrong side of the mob as they become the city's most wanted fugitives.
Horror movie veteran Tom Holland is making his way back to the big screen with Rock Paper Dead. The movie follows Peter Harris, who is also known as The Doll Maker, a serial killer who returns to his family estate after being released from the hospital for the criminally insane after 20 years. Once inside the old house, horrible memories from a tortured childhood and visitations from past victims torment him, but it isn't until the lovely young Ashley enters his life that Peter makes a fateful decision that rekindles old desires that always have ended in murder. (For fans with macabre sensibilities, you may be delighted to note that a line of serial killer-inspired dolls and masks based on the film will be available in stores on Halloween 2017).
Sarah Paulson (who starred in American Crime Story as Marcia Clark) is in talks to join Warner Bros.' all-female Ocean's Eleven spinoff, currently called Ocean's Ocho. Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina also are part of the Ocean's ensemble cast.
The BBC has struck a deal for not one, not two, but seven Agatha Christie adaptations to be delivered over the next four years. Mammoth Screen (the producer behind the upcoming Christie-based film Witness for the Prosecution and last year's And Then There Were None), will be the creative team behind the new projects, to include Ordeal by Innocence, Death Comes As The End (set in ancient Egypt), and The ABC Murders, about a serial killer in 1930s Britain.
In addition to the above-mentioned Witness for the Prosecution, the upcoming BBC slate of dramas includes the six-part contemporary thriller Bodyguard, which tells a fictional story following a team from the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service whose officers are tasked with protecting royals, politicians and diplomats; plus a move of the police procedural Line of Duty to BBC One from BBC Two for Season 4, with Thandie Newton joining the cast as Detective Chief Inspector Roz Huntley.
The busy Beeb also announced they are producing a six-part adaptation of Eleanor Catton's Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries. The project, which will also be written by Catton, is a Victorian mystery tale set during the New Zealand gold rush. The New Zealand author became the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker Prize at the age of 28 when The Luminaries won in 2013, and the 832-page book was also the longest work to win in the prize's history. The judges described it as a "Kiwi Twin Peaks".
The Departed, the Oscar-winning 2006 Martin Scorsese crime drama, is getting a TV series reboot at Amazon. Written by Detroit 1-8-7 creator Jason Richman, The Departed puts a new, updated spin on the two-way-undercover concept in the Scorsese movie and will be set at present-day Chicago, amidst the shifting tides of warring ethnic drug gangs. The story will center on a young cop who goes undercover to infiltrate a ruthless Latino gang, which simultaneously plants its own man in the police department. The show follows these two embattled moles as they attempt to fulfill their mission and stay alive.
The ITV and Netflix crime series Marcella has been picked up for a second eight-part season. Described as "Scandinavian noir on the streets of Britain," the first season of the series centered on troubled detective Marcella (played by Anna Friel) as she investigated a serial murder case upon returning to duty after a 10-year hiatus. Also appearing in the first season were Downton Abbey's Laura Carmichael, Nicholas Pinnock (Fortitude), Sinead Cusack (Eastern Promises), Nina Sosanya (Last Tango In Halifax), Ray Panthaki (Convenience), Jamie Bamber (Law & Order: UK), Patrick Baladi (The Office), and Harry Lloyd (Game Of Thrones).
Chris O'Dowd and Ray Romano are in negotiations to star in Get Shorty, Epix’s 10-episode original series based on Elmore Leonard’s 1990 bestselling thriller comedy novel. (The book was previously adapted by MGM in a 1995 feature starring John Travolta, Danny DeVito, Gene Hackman, and Rene Russo.) Written by Davey Holmes, the TV version of Get Shorty centers on Miles Daly (O'’Dowd), who works as muscle for a murderous crime ring in Nevada. When he tries to leave the criminal life behind, he accidentally brings it with him to Los Angeles and his new job in the film industry. Romano would play Rick, a washed up producer of low quality films who becomes Miles' partner and guide through the maze of Hollywood.
Jennifer Lopez will serve as executive producer of a new legal drama at CBS from Michael Rauch. The story follows polar opposite identical twin brothers who duke it out in their personal lives but are at their best teaming up in the courtroom.
Former NFL player turned Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan is expanding his relationship with ABC, having sold his first scripted project, Hobbs, to the network. The drama centers on Tommy Hobbs, a former Heisman Trophy winner who joins the Miami police force after not being drafted by the NFL, as well as a meticulous, rule-following detective who has trained her whole life to become a police officer. Michael Caleo (The Sopranos, Rescue Me) will pen the script and exec produce.
A legal procedural is headed to NBC that's based on former prosecutor Marcia Clark's personal experiences and the events of her new novel Blood Defense. The project would follow the legal struggles of criminal defense attorney Samantha Brinkman who gained a reputation as a lawyer who will never give up on her clients but has to adjust her approach when she's handed an extremely high-profile Los Angeles murder case.
Star Trek actor John Cho is headed to a new series on the USA Network with Connoisseur, which explores the world of con artists. Cho will star as Clay Park, a man who pulls off his scheming cons by tricking the wealthiest people in the country to buy fake wine. But when his confidence trick forces him to cross paths with a crime syndicate, he gets involved with the FBI and learns about a tragedy that hurt his family years ago in Korea.
Toni Collette is set to star in and executive produce Unit Zero, an action dramedy for ABC from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and supervising producer Lindsey Shockley. The project follows a brilliant, but unassuming CIA engineer and single mom, Jackie Fink (Collette), as she "leads a team of CIA underlings who are thrust into the field as first time spies. Each week, this team of zeroes races against the clock to gather intelligence and solve cases of national security. And they succeed partly because no one in their right mind would ever suspect they were spies."
Criminal Minds is looking to add two new characters in the wake of Thomas Gibson's firing earlier this month, with one of the characters eyed to succeed Hotchner as team leader. The changes come on the heels of other cast transitions following last spring’s departure of original cast member Shemar Moore, Adam Rodriguez’s full-time arrival as Alvez, Paget Brewster’s short-term return as Prentiss, and Aisha Tyler’s promotion to series regular as Dr. Tara Lewis.
Lifetime is developing an untitled movie about real estate magnate Robert Durst, subject of HBO’s The Jinx, who’s serving a seven-year prison sentence in Louisiana for weapons possession. Based on Matt Birkbeck’s book A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst, the film will tell the troubling story of Robert Durst through the eyes and relationship of his wife, Kathy Durst, who disappeared in New York in 1982. Robert Durst was a suspect in her disappearance, but was never charged. Durst was expected back in Los Angeles this month to be arraigned on murder charges in a separate case — the killing of his confidante, Susan Berman.
AT&T-owned DirecTV Latin America has acquired rights to European heist thriller The Last Panthers, marking a move by Sky and Canal Plus to partner on crime thrillers that have the authenticity of great U.S. modern TV classics but bring a distinctly European take. The Last Panthers kicks off with a daring diamond robbery in London, which has all the hallmarks of the Balkans' Pink Panthers, then transfers to Marseilles and the Balkans as a British loss adjuster is sent by her shady boss to investigate the crime. The project features a prestigious European cast – Samantha Morton, French star Tahar Rahim, Croatian Goran Bogdan, and John Hurt, and was shot in English, French and Serbo-Croat and set in London, Marseilles and the Balkans.
A&E is the latest network to mount a project on the JonBenét Ramsey murder case, titled The Killing Of JonBenét: The Truth Uncovered, a two-hour documentary set to premiere Monday, September 5 on A&E. It joins three other previously announced TV projects, from Lifetime, Investigation Discovery and CBS, as well as a feature project directed by Kitty Green, timed to the 20th anniversary of the six-year-old beauty queen's killing.
Another star of American Crime is set to return for the third installment of the ABC anthology series. Benito Martinez, who co-starred in the first season and guest starred in Season 2, joins fellow returning players Timothy Hutton, Felicity Huffman, Regina King, Lili Taylor, Richard Cabral and Connor Jessup in the acclaimed series, executive produced by John Ridley and Michael McDonald. His character provides a further glimpse into Season 3, which explores labor issues, economic divides and individual rights in North Carolina.
A trailer was released for the second season of Narcos, the crime drama about the criminal exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
The Cheat Sheet has trailers for 25 new show premieres coming in September, including Crackle's latest original series, Startup, which stars Martin Freeman as Phil Rask, an FBI agent who specializes in financial crimes; the Cinemax show Quarry, based on the novels by Max Allan Collins about a Marine who returns home to Memphis from Vietnam in 1972 and gets drawn into a network of corruption and killing spanning the Mississippi River; CBS's unscripted true-crime anthology series that will focus on the JonBenet Ramsey case; the legal drama Bull on CBS; ABC's conspiracy thriller Designated Survivor, starring Kiefer Sutherland; the Fox procedural series Lethal Weapon, based on the film of the same name; and the CBS reboot of MacGuyver.
The St. Hilda Mystery & Crime Conference, which was held over the weekend of August 19-21, has posted a link to the featured conference lecture, "Seven Million Years of Thriller Fiction" by internationally-bestselling author Lee Child, creator of the Jack Reacher series.
True crime author Denise Wallace chatted with author/screenwriter Debbi Mack on Crime Cafe about her debut true crime book and the events that inspired it.
Edgar-nominated novelist Duane Swierczynski joined the podcast Poets of the Tabloid Murder to discuss his new thriller, Revolver.
The Conan show welcomed Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst.
Peter James' The Perfect Murder is making its first-ever theatrical appearance in the U.S. at Abingdon, Virginia's Barter Theatre, beginning September 8. The comedy-thriller centers on Victor Smiley, who finds himself searching for a way to get rid of his wife Joan...forever. But, things don't always go as planned.