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AMC and BBC Worldwide North America to Co-Produce Organized Crime Thriller ‘McMafia’

AMC and BBC Worldwide North America have inked a co-production pact for upcoming drama “McMafia.” The BBC had initially commissioned the series in October 2015.

The international drama stars James Norton (“Happy Valley”) as Alex, the British-raised son of Russian exiles who has spent his life trying to crawl out from the shadow of his family’s mafia past. He’s built a life for himself that includes his own business and a British girlfriend (Juliet Rylance) — a life upended by the sudden murderous return of that mafia past. Alex will find himself enmeshed in a world of corruption stretching from London to Mumbai to Moscow and everywhere in between.

Norton is joined in the cast by David Strathairn as Israeli businessman Semiyon Kleiman, Aleksey Serebryakov as Alex’s exiled crime boss father Dimitri, Maria Shukshina as Alex’s socialite mother Oksana, and Faye Marsay as Katya, Alex’s sister.

McMafia” is created by Hossein Amini (“Drive”) and James Watkins and is inspired by Misha Glenny’s 2008 best-selling book of the same name. Production has begun in London, and Watkins will be directing all eight episodes. The writing team, led by Amini and Watkins, includes David Farr (“The Night Manager,” “Spooks”), Peter Harness (“Doctor Who,” “Wallander”), and Laurence Coriat (“Wonderland,” “Me Without You”).

“‘McMafia’ is simply one of those shows that comes along at exactly the right moment,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “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. The creative team behind ‘McMafia’ has brilliantly used the essence of this source material to write a compelling and relevant piece of television. This is a superbly talented cast, led by James Norton and we are excited to watch them bring to life these complex and multi-dimensional characters. We are also thrilled to be in partnership with the BBC, and Cuba Pictures, on this epic drama.”

“McMafia” is a co-production by the BBC, AMC and Cuba Pictures in association with Twickenham Studios, distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide. It is executive produced by Nick Marston, Dixie Linder, Ben Hall, and Robyn Slovo for Cuba Pictures, Matthew Read for BBC One and Amini, Watkins and Glenny. Paul Ritchie is producing.

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