James Norton to star in BBC crime drama McMafia

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 5 August 2016
James Norton

James Norton

James Norton will star in new BBC crime-drama 'McMafia', as Alex Goodman, the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia past

James Norton will star in new BBC crime-drama 'McMafia'.

The 'Happy Valley' actor has landed the role of Alex Goodman, the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia past, in the drama, which is based on Misha Glenny's book.

Although Alex has tried to forge a life away from crime, he is drawn into the criminal world when his family's past returns to haunt them.

Billed as a hard-hitting look at global crime, 'McMafia' will be set in London, Moscow, Dubai, Mumbai, Africa and Mexico.

A source told The Sun: "James is the obvious choice for any drama right now. Everything he's been in since shooting to fame has been a ratings hit.

"'Happy Valley', 'Grantchester' and 'War & Peace' drew massive figures and the Beeb hopes this will too. It has all the hallmarks of another success."

The eight-part series will be directed by James Watkins, who is also co-writing the series.

Speaking previously about the project, creator and writer Hossein Amini, said: "I have always been a fan of mob sagas but Misha Glenny's McMafia is the first book I've read that captures the complexity and global reach of organised crime in the 21st century.

"The lines between gangsters, bankers, politicians and spies has been blurred and the whole world has become a battlefield in this global gang war."

And author Glenny said: "I am a huge fan of 'The Godfather', 'The Sopranos' and, more recently [Netflix's Pablo Escobar drama] 'Narcos'.

"Hoss and James's brilliant reworking of 'McMafia' takes this tradition onto a global canvas by revealing the immense possibilities open to an ambitious Russian crime family in an interconnected world."

The BBC added that the show will portray a "web of connections that join up money launderers in Dubai to cyber criminals in India, black marketeers in Zagreb to narcos in Colombia, Russian oligarchs in London to Bedouin smugglers in the Negev desert".

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