Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Ian Rankin’s Detective Rebus to Be Reimagined in New Series


Viaplay, Eleventh Hour Films and author Ian Rankin are partnering for a reimagining of Rankin’s iconic detective John Rebus.

Set in contemporary Edinburgh, the six-part series places Rebus at the heart of a new story devised by screenwriter Gregory Burke (Entebbe, ’71). It marks the first Rebus TV adaptation in nearly 15 years.

The show also represents Viaplay Group’s initial U.K. drama commission.

In the drama, Rebus is in his 30s, recently divorced and demoted to detective sergeant. He has a new colleague, Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke, and is struggling to deal with the changes in his personal and professional life. At the same time, Rebus’s daughter, Sammy, and ex-wife, Rhona, are enjoying an affluent existence with Rhona’s new partner—while Rebus’s brother Michael is finding out that in a society where the gaps between the ‘haves and have-nots’ keep widening, taking shortcuts to provide for your family is no longer a temptation, but a necessity.

Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels and stand-alone thrillers have sold 30 million copies and been translated into 36 languages.

Rankin said: “I’m hugely excited at the thought of Rebus returning to our screens, and it’s a privilege to have Gregory Burke write the scripts. I’ve been a fan since ‘Gagarin Way’ and know that he understands the world of Rebus and the compelling central character. I’m chuffed to bits that Viaplay and Eleventh Hour are involved in this groundbreaking endeavor, and I can’t wait to share the results!”

Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group’s chief content officer, said: “Sir Ian Rankin is a global storytelling phenomenon, and partnering to reimagine Rebus for a new generation of viewers is a remarkable way for Viaplay to take the U.K. stage. This ambitious series will explore family, morality and class in British society through an exciting and emotionally charged story, set against the Edinburgh landmarks that Rankin’s readers know so well. Together with Gregory Burke and the team at Eleventh Hour Films, we will create an unforgettable show with Scottish roots, international appeal and universal themes.”

Jill Green, Eleventh Hour Films’ CEO, added: “Sir Ian Rankin and Gregory Burke are the dream duo. They will ensure that Rebus delivers in a truly authentic, exciting and fresh way. For Eleventh Hour Films, Viaplay and Scotland, this project feels like great timing.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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