BritBox UK reveals first drama slate, with Ridley Scott & Irvine Welsh series

UK streamer BritBox has revealed its first drama slate with the first TV project from Trainspotting’s Irvine Welsh and a series from Ridley Scott’s company Scott Free.

Five-part revenge thriller The Beast Must Die is being produced by New Regency Television and Scott Free, with Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife), Jared Harris (Chernobyl) and Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon) starring.

The show is based on the novel by Nicholas Blake (pen name of poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis), which tells the story of a grieving mother who infiltrates the life of the man she believes killed her son. Dome Karukoski directs, with screenwriter Gaby Chiappe also attached.

The drama is the first for New Regency Television out of the UK, following the establishment of its international arm last year.

Welsh works on Crime

Welsh, meanwhile, is working alongside long-standing screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh (Wedding Belles) on what is set to be his first TV drama and is based on his novel Crime.

The story, which is set in Edinburgh and follows a detective investigating the disappearance of a schoolgirl while battling his own personal demons, is being produced by Cineflix-backed Marcella producer Buccaneer Media.

The six-parter is being directed by James Strong (Liar, Broadchurch) and will star Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible 2, Hitman), with Welsh and Cavanagh exec producing, alongside Buccaneer’s Richard Tulk-Hart and James Strong. It will be distributed worldwide by Cineflix Rights.

Welsh is also working with American Psycho writer Bret Easton Ellis to co-create a new drama series focusing on the US tabloid press, with UK-based Burning Wheel Productions also involved.

Masterpiece joins for Magpie Murders

The slate also includes Magpie Murders, which has been commissioned by BritBox and Masterpiece, the drama strand of US-based broadcaster PBS.

The show is adapted from Anthony Horowitz’s novel and will be produced by Eleventh Hour Films. The story tracks an editor who is given an unfinished manuscript of an author’s latest novel, but has little idea it will change her life.

The three series, which will debut exclusively on the UK-focused BritBox, join fellow scripted commission A Spy Among Friends, which is based on the best-selling book written by Ben Macintyre and produced by ITV Studios’ Patrick Spence (Fortitude, The Eddy).


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