This is something of a casting coup. Richard Gere (Chicago, Pretty Woman), Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders, Harry Potter) and Billy Howle (Witness for the Prosecution, On Chesil Beach) have been set as the leads in MotherFatherSon, BBC Two eight episode drama series from American Crime Story and London Spy scribe Tom Rob Smith.
Originally commissioned the better part of two years ago, MotherFatherSon is described as a political and psychological thriller that sits at the intersections of police, politics and the press. The series is as much a family saga as it is a savage, unflinching study of power and how even the mightiest of empires can be in peril when a family turns on each other.
In what is his first role for television in three decades, Richard Gere has been cast as Max, a charismatic self-made American businessman with media outlets in London and around the world. “I’m so pleased to be working now with the BBC on this extraordinary 8 hour project with such talented people and which resonates so much to the time we live in”, Gere said.
Helen McCrory will play Kathryn, a British heiress who has been estranged from Max following the breakdown of their marriage some years before. “Tom Rob Smith has written the most astonishing script – completely original and full of surprises”, Helen McCrory added in a statement.
Billy Howle plays 30 year-old son, Caden, who runs Max’s UK newspaper and is primed to follow in his father’s footsteps as one of the most powerful men in the world. But when Caden’s self-destructive lifestyle spirals out of control, the devastating consequences threaten the future of the family, its empire, and a country on the brink of change.
“Telling this story was always going to depend upon gathering an extraordinary cast. Richard Gere has starred in some of the most famous movies of all time. His roles are iconic and complex”, Tom Rob Smith said. “He’s joined by the remarkable Helen McCrory, showcasing heartbreaking emotional tenderness and immense power. And completing the central family is Billy Howle, one of the most exciting young actors I’ve ever had the privilege of watching perform. Under the brilliant direction of James Kent, the show promises to be something special for the BBC.”
MotherFatherSon was penned by Smith, who penned the scripts and serves as an executive producer alongside The Newsroom‘s Alan Poul, Hilary Salmon and Elizabeth Kilgarriff. It is being produced by BBC Studios Drama London and was commissioned by BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland. Lisa Osborne (Quirke, Little Dorrit) is the series producer, while The Thirteenth Tale helmer James Kent is the lead director. Filming gets underway in London and on location in Spain this summer for a 2019 premiere. The BBC said that further casting would be announced at a later date. BBC Studios will handle global sales for the series.