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BBC commissions Mafia drama


BBC One has commissioned McMafia – a new epic drama inspired by Misha Glenny’s 2008 bestselling book about the international world of organised crime.

Created and written by award-winning screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini (Drive, The Wings of the Dove) and James Watkins (The Woman in Black, Eden Lake), McMafia is an intimate fast-paced thriller that throws open the doors of the complex world of organised crime, centering around one Russian family living in exile in London.

Global in scale and forensic in detail, McMafia delves into how the criminal world really works and how, driven by the global demand for cheap products, everyone is complicit, in some way.

The writing team also includes David Farr (The Night Manager, Spooks), Peter Harness (Doctor Who, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Laurence Coriat (Wonderland, Me Without You).

Author Misha Glenny says: “I am a huge fan of The Godfather, The Sopranos and, more recently, 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.”

Hossein Amini says: “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 organized 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. I am thrilled to be working with such terrific writers on a series that I hope will be epic, authentic and also intimate in the best traditions of the genre.”

Co-creator and writer James Watkins adds: “The annual turnover of transnational organised crime is estimated at $870 billion. Misha Glenny’s brilliant book casts fascinating light on that huge hidden world and shows how terrifyingly close it is to us all. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with such brilliant writers to bring that captivating underworld to BBC One.”

McMafia is produced by Cuba Pictures (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, London Road) for BBC One.