Giancarlo Esposito is leading the reboot to the British series The Driver for AMC and its streaming platform AMC+.
Created by Sunu Gonera and Danny Brocklehurst, Esposito stars as a taxi driver whose life is turned upside down when he agrees to chauffer a New Orleans-based Zimbabwean gangster. His new boss is notorious for exploiting undocumented immigrants at the U.S. southern ports.
Gonera will direct the pilot episode of the six-part U.S. series. Theo Travers will serve as the writer and showrunner.
“I am over-the-moon excited, enthused and inspired to be in collaboration with the stellar network and creative team of AMC,” Esposito said. “Thanks for believing in me. It’s great to be back home.”
Esposito was a fan of the BBC series and he teamed up with Gonera to make the project happen through their shared management firm, Thruline Entertainment.
“It’s surreal to be at this point,” said Gonera. “This whole journey started as a simple conversation four years ago in my manager Josh Kesselman’s living room when he said, ‘Giancarlo is keen to play an everyman as his next role. There’s a British show he loves called The Driver. Would you watch the pilot and see if you could come up with a take you both could get excited about?’ Um, would I? You had me at Giancarlo and everyman.”
Added Dan McDermott, President of Entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks: “Giancarlo is a singular talent who is already beloved by AMC viewers through his standout performances in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. We are excited to be continuing his relationship with AMC and AMC+ in a series built around him and an unforgettable character who takes what he thinks is a straightforward job opportunity and finds himself confronted with a world that tests him in ways he could never have imagined.”
Esposito, Gonera, Brocklehurst and Travers will executive produce alongside Josh Kesselman and Danny Sherman from Thruline and A+E Studios’ Barry Jossen and Tana Jamieson.
Brocklehurst also co-created the original version with Jim Poyser and Sunu Gonera.
The original, BBC One show was a three-part miniseries that was led by The Walking Dead’s David Morrissey. Released in 2014, the British series similarly followed Morrissey as cabbie whose life is turned upside down when he agrees to be the driver for a criminal gang.
The six-part series will launch next year on AMC and AMC+. It will also be the third time Eposito has worked with AMC — he previously starred in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. It is produced by AMC Studios in association with A+E Studios and Thruline Entertainment.
You can currently see the ever-busy Esposito recurring on Amazon’s The Boys and Disney+’s The Mandalorian. He’s also attached to Netflix’s forthcoming series Jigsaw and stars opposite Forest Whitaker in Godfather of Harlem on Epix.