We’ve got an exciting update for Rebus fans!
Author Sir Ian Rankin has teamed up with Viaplay to bring his iconic detective back to television.
Set in Edinburgh and featuring Detective Inspector John Rebus, there have been 24 of the internationally bestselling Rebus novels.
The character has previously been played by John Hannah (Sliding Doors) and later Ken Stott (The Hobbit) on ITV between 2000 and 2007.
Leading the cast as John Rebus this time around is Scottish actor Richard Rankin, best known as Roger Wakefield MacKenzie in Outlander.
Rankin – no relation to Rebus creator Sir Ian Rankin – has also been in episodes of The Crimson Field, Midsomer Murders, The Last Kingdom, and Silent Witness.
Ahead of his on screen debut as John Rebus next year on Nordic streaming service Viaplay, the star will be back in the seventh season of Outlander this summer.
“I’m thrilled to be taking on the role of Rebus,” Rankin previously commented. “I’m a big fan of the series and Sir Ian Rankin.”
He added: “I feel very lucky to be given the honour of bringing such an iconic Scottish character back to TV screens and will give all I have to do it justice.”
Here’s a sneak peek from the first day of filming on Monday 24th April:
This “major reimagining” of Rebus is written by screenwriter Gregory Burke (’71), with Sir Ian Rankin on board as an executive producer.
On directing duties are Niall MacCormick (Wallander) and Fiona Walton (Shetland).
“It’s an exciting day that filming of Rebus is now underway,” revealed Filippa Wallestam at Viaplay this week.
“We are proud to bring such a highly regarded character to audiences as our first UK commission, which will put Viaplay even more firmly on the drama map in the UK,” she said.
“We found our Rebus in Richard Rankin and now have an equally stellar cast around him. It’s a privilege to work alongside the creative team at Eleventh Hour Films, Gregory Burke and Sir Ian Rankin to create this unique and compelling show.”
Set in contemporary Scotland, the new Rebus series finds police detective John Rebus in his late 30s and at a psychological crossroads.
The official synopsis tells us more: “At odds with a job increasingly driven by corporate technocrats, involved in a toxic affair he knows he needs to end, and all but supplanted in his daughter’s life by his ex-wife’s wealthy new husband, Rebus begins to wonder if he still has a role to play – either as a family man or a police officer.
“In a world of divisive politics and national discord, does the law still have meaning, or is everyone reverting to an older set of rules? And if so, why shouldn’t Rebus do so too?”
The supporting cast will include Lucie Shorthouse (Line of Duty) as Rebus’s police partner Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke, with Brian Ferguson (The Spanish Princess) playing Rebus’s brother Michael, Neshla Caplan (The Rig) as Michael’s wife Chrissie, and Amy Manson (The Nevers) as Rebus’s ex-wife, Rhona.
They’ll be joined by Thoren Ferguson (The Midwich Cuckoos), Caroline Lee-Johnson (Ridley), Sean Buchanan (Mary Queen of Scots), Michelle Duncan (Baptiste), Stuart Bowman (The Serpent), and Noof Ousellam (Andor).
Sir Ian Rankin’s most recent Rebus book, A Heart Full of Headstones, came out last year.
The original Rebus series is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.