Jason Statham will executive produce and star in a new TV drama from Gaumont International Television, titled “Viva La Madness.” A network is not yet attached to the project.
The hourlong action thriller is based on the book of the same name by J.J. Connolly, a sequel to Connolly’s novel “Layer Cake,” which was previously adapted into a 2004 film starring Daniel Craig.
Statham and Steven Chasman own the rights to the project, and will serve as executive producers along with Connolly, who will write the series.
“’Viva La Madness,’ with its riveting characters and twisting storyline, is a volatile cocktail of action and comedy that only J.J. Connolly can create,” said Gaumont CEO Katie O’Connell Marsh. “Jason Statham, known for his roles in the ‘Transporter’ trilogy, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,’ ‘Snatch,’ ‘The Bank Job,’ as well as the recent ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Spy,’ brings such strength and credibility to his characters but also has an effortless shade of vulnerability that gives him so much dimension on screen.”
“The way J.J. writes is so on the ball and authentic, it’s hard to let any of it go. Trying to lose characters or shave down scenes every other page didn’t work, we wanted it all. The best place was a 10 hour-plus show that lets you fully disappear into Connolly’s world,” commented Statham, implying that the project was originally being developed as a feature.
Added Chasman, “Viva La Madness is filled with J.J. Connolly’s trademark dark humor, razor-sharp dialogue, and quick-fire violence.”
The series will follow an anonymous hero who is stranded in the Caribbean itching for the criminal life he left behind — even though he’s still a wanted man back home. Soon he joins forces with two robust London gangsters: the menacing Sonny King and his paranoid partner Roy “Twitchy” Burns.
This will mark Statham’s first starring TV role. The actor is repped by CAA. Other shows from Gaumont include NBC’s “Hannibal” and Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove,” “Narcos,” and “F is for Family.”