Viaplay, Eleventh Hour Films and Ian Rankin partner for a major ‘Rebus’ reimagining

Viaplay, Eleventh Hour Films and Ian Rankin partner for a major ‘Rebus’ reimagining

  • Acclaimed screenwriter Gregory Burke to create and write premium drama series based on Ian Rankin’s internationally bestselling Rebus detective books, with Burke and Rankin serving as Executive Producers
  • Six-part series is Viaplay Group’s initial UK drama commission and the first Rebus TV adaptation for nearly 15 years
  • Viaplay launched in the UK on 1 November

Viaplay, Eleventh Hour Films and the internationally bestselling author Ian Rankin will partner for a major reimagining of Rankin’s iconic detective, Inspector John Rebus, drawn from the instantly recognisable universe of Rankin’s books. Set in contemporary Edinburgh, the six-part series places Rebus at the heart of a compelling new story devised by screenwriter Gregory Burke (‘Entebbe’; ‘71’). The show represents Viaplay Group’s initial UK drama commission and the first Rebus TV adaptation for nearly 15 years.

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.

Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels and standalone thrillers have sold 30 million copies and been translated into thirty-six languages, with a major fan base in the UK, US, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey and Finland, and have topped the Sunday Times and New York Times’ bestseller lists. Rankin has received an OBE for services to literature and was awarded a knighthood in 2022. His latest novel, ‘A Heart Full of Headstones’, was published in October 2022.

Sir Ian Rankin: “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 endeavour and I can’t wait to share the results!”

Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group Chief Content Officer: “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 UK 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: “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.”

Gregory Burke is an accomplished theatre, film and television writer. His award-winning plays include ‘Gagarin Way’ (Traverse/National Theatre, 2001) and ‘Black Watch’ (National Theatre of Scotland, World Tour, 2006). His screenplay ‘‘71’ (Warp/Crab Apple Films) was awarded Best Writer Film/TV at the BAFTA Scotland Awards 2016. Burke has recently adapted a 4 x 60’ drama for ITVX, ‘Six Four’ (House Productions) starring Kevin McKidd and Vinette Robinson and directed by Ben A. Williams.

The principal cast and director of the new production will be announced shortly, and filming is set to begin in spring 2023. Planned as a returning series, the show is produced by Eleventh Hour Films, with Jill Green, Paula Cuddy and Eve Gutierrez as Executive Producers, and with Isabelle Hultén and Tomas Axelsson as Executive Producers for Viaplay Group. Ian Rankin and Gregory Burke have boarded as Executive Producers. Global sales are handled by Viaplay Content Distribution.

Viaplay launched in the UK on 1 November with a unique offering of award-winning Viaplay Originals, curated third-part content and live sports. The launch takes Viaplay’s direct-to-consumer footprint to 11 countries, with the US and Canada to follow in early 2023.

About Viaplay Originals

At least 70 Viaplay Originals are set to premiere in 2022. Upcoming Originals include ‘Human to Human’; ‘Sex Dreams Love’; ‘Veronika’; ‘In the Name of Love’; ‘The Street Where I Live’; ‘My Fault’; ‘Call Me Dad’; ‘The Beach Hotel’; ‘Roombeek’; ‘Listen Up!’; ‘End of Summer’; ‘R.I.P. Henry’; ‘Thunder in My Heart’ season two; ‘Live Life’; ‘Little Did I Know’; ‘It Could Have Been Us’; ‘Threesome’ season two; ‘R.S.V.P.’; ‘The Fortress’; ‘The Hunt for Jasper S.’; ‘Liv Ullmann: The Road Less Travelled’; ‘Those Who Kill’ season three; ‘Face to Face’ season three; ‘The Meaning of Life’; ‘Something Stupid’; ‘The Guilty’; ‘Stockholm Bloodbath’; ‘Delete Me’ season two; ‘Gold Run’; ‘Elvira’; ‘North Sea Connection’; ‘Limbo’; ‘Litvinenko’; ‘Karma and Jonar’; ‘Ronja’; ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’; ‘Murderesses’; ‘Pørni’ season three; ‘Hilma’; a biopic of Börje Salming; and ‘The Swarm’.

Two major English-language films will be produced by Viaplay every year. The company has also established a UK-based joint venture with FilmNation Entertainment and invested in US studio Picturestart.



Viaplay Group AB (publ) is the international streaming challenger. Our Viaplay streaming service is available direct-to-consumer in every Nordic and Baltic country, Poland, the Netherlands and the UK, and we are expanding rapidly by launching in the US, Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2023. Viaplay will have a market presence in at least 21 countries by the end of 2023, including at least five partner markets for the Viaplay Select branded content concept. Every day, millions of customers enjoy our unique entertainment offering, including acclaimed Viaplay Originals and an unrivalled line-up of premium live sports. From streaming to TV channels, radio stations and production companies, our purpose is to tell stories, touch lives and expand worlds. Viaplay Group is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (‘VPLAY B’).

About Eleventh Hour Films:
Established in 2010, Eleventh Hour Films is an independent scripted production company which focuses on producing drama of the highest quality, both in the UK and internationally. Most recently EHF has adapted Anthony Horowitz’s best-selling novel Magpie Murders as a 6-part drama starring award winning actress Lesley Manville for PBS Masterpiece and BritBox UK and together with Boatrocker and Luti Media is in post production on Robyn Hood a Canadian set contemporary reimagining of the British legend for Corus. EHF enjoyed critical acclaim in 2020 with the launch of the globally successful Alex Rider spy series, a thrilling adaptation of the best-selling coming-of-age novels which has sold in over 100 territories worldwide. The company’s other productions include Foyle’s War, Safe House and Collision.

Contact us: (or Nicholas Smith, Senior Communications Manager: +46 73 699 1700) (or Matthew Hooper, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer: +44 7768 440 414)

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