Channel 4 Adapts Swedish Crime Thriller From Eagle Eye Drama & Former Viacom Comms Chief Matt Baker; PBS Takes U.S. Rights

Channel 4 has ordered an adaptation of Swedish crime thriller Before We Die from Eagle Eye Drama to be written by fledgling TV writer Matt Baker – best known in industry circles as Viacom’s former international communications chief.

The Bristol-set series will star Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey), Vincent Regan (Troy) and Patrick Gibson (The Tudors) and is the producer’s second commission after ITV ordered a remake of Belgian crime drama Professor T.

Sharp leads the cast as detective Hannah Laing who becomes deeply conflicted when she discovers her son is playing a crucial role as an undercover informant in a brutal murder investigation. Gibson, who also starred in The OA, plays her mixed-up son, Christian, while Croatian actor Toni Gojanović, who starred in HBO Europe’s Success, will take on the role of Davor Mimica the leader of the criminal gang. Vincent Regan stars as Billy Murdoch, a non-conformist investigator, who is seconded to Hannah’s unit to advise on Eastern European drug gangs.

Commissioned by Channel 4 Head of Drama Caroline Hollick and Commissioning Editor Gwen Gorst, the series will be directed by Belgian director, Jan Matthys (The Last Kingdom), and has been adapted by Baker. It will be filmed in Bristol and Belgium later this year with Jo McGrath, Walter Iuzzolino and Bert Hamelinck as Executive Producers.

The series is produced by Eagle Eye Drama in association with Caviar and is supported by Screen Flanders, DPG Media and the Belgian tax shelter via Caviar Film Financing. PBS Distribution holds the North American rights and ZDF Enterprises will distribute the series worldwide.

Channel 4’s Hollick said, “Every episode of Before We Die is a rollercoaster of excitement – and I’m so delighted to have Lesley Sharp bring her trademark gravitas and charisma to Channel 4.  It’s a privilege to be part of this truly inspiring European collaboration.”

Jo McGrath, Executive Producer and CCO of Eagle Eye Drama, added, “Before We Die is a powerful and original series which uses the grammar and architecture of a nail-biting crime thriller to tell the compelling emotional story of a mother and son’s dysfunctional relationship, beautifully juxtaposed against the close-knit ties of the crime family they are trying to bring to justice. Before We Die stands out as truly distinctive crime drama and I can think of no better actress than Lesley Sharp to bring this complex lead character to life.”

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